Iran accused of spying on dissidents in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 16.10.2009
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Iran accused of spying on dissidents in Germany

Iran's government is notorious for cracking down on political opposition in its own country. New media reports suggest that Iran has extended these operations and is now also going after dissidents who live abroad.

Hundreds of people take to the streets of Berlin on August 4 to protest against the re-election of Ahmadinedschad

Iranian spies are accused of filming dissidents in Germany

Germany's ARD public television broadcast a Panorama documentary on Thursday evening in which accusations were made that Iranian agents were spying on exiled Iranian dissidents on German soil.

"We know that the Iranian (secret) service has its people circulating in demonstrations. We have evidence that people are being filmed, that the services want to identify people," Panorama quoted the deputy head of German intelligence in Hamburg, Manfred Murck, as saying.

The documentary said it had received reports that Iranian agents in Germany were intimidating dissidents with telephone threats which were directed against them and their families in Iran and that suspects returning to Iran for family visits were often arrested upon entering the country.

Iranian authorities deny allegations

Panorama also quoted the German foreign ministry as saying that that it had received "repeated requests from the Iranian government to limit the independent expressing of views by Iranians living in Germany."

Iranian authorities in Germany have denied this.

"There has been no letter or written message from us on this. There have been a lot of lies spread in the media about the protests," Iran's ambassador in Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar said.

Iran was hit by a series of large protests in the weeks after the disputed June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian authorities arrested several thousand people in the subsequent crackdown, drawing strong international condemnation, including from Germany.

Editor: Andreas Illmer

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