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Germany Summons Iran Envoy To Warn Against Spying On Israel

Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi of Pakistan covered his face at the start of his trial in Berlin in March.

Germany has summoned Iran's ambassador in Berlin to warn Tehran against spying on individuals and groups with close ties to Israel, saying such acts violate German law.

News of the meeting came out in media reports on January 9 after a Pakistani man's appeal of his conviction in March of spying for Iran was rejected by the German Constitutional Court.

Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi was convicted of gathering intelligence on Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society and an Israeli-French economics professor in Paris, for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

After the conviction, Robbe accused Tehran of plotting to have him murdered and demanded that Berlin call Iran to account, according to German media.

"Spying on people and institutions with special ties to the state of Israel on German soil is an egregious violation of German law," a ministry official said on January 9, noting that Iranian Ambassador Ali Majedi was summoned and given a warning on December 22.

The official said Philipp Ackermann, acting director of the Foreign Ministry's political section, told Majedi that "such activities would not be tolerated and were completely unacceptable."

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that the Iranian ambassador was warned that spying on Israel would "have negative consequences on bilataral relations between Germany and Iran."

Germany's domestic intelligence service, which handles counterespionage, highlighted Iran's spying activities in its annual report in July, saying that Tehran was focused heavily on Israeli or pro-Jewish targets.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa