Tehran lashes back at Berlin for Merkel, Peres derogatory speeches
"Two German diplomats using fictitious names of Yogi and Ingo were arrested" last month during clashes at the Ashura festival, an unnamed Iranian deputy intelligence minister said Wednesday, Jan. 27.
The announcement followed shortly after Israeli president Shimon Peres told the Reichstag in Berlin that he was sure Germany would come to Israel's aid if it came under attack from a nuclear-armed Iran.
A day earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel standing alongside the Israeli president said time was up for Iran and February would see new and tougher UN Security Council sanctions.
These events marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
debkafile reports that, in keeping with its new rapid strike policy for any hostile US or Israeli action – developed in conjunction with Syria and Hizballah and first exposed by debkafile file on Jan. 26 – Tehran hit back at Berlin Wednesday. Iranian state television quoted a top official as accusing "two diplomats using fictitious names" of a hand in organizing the Ashura riots in which at least eight people died.
The report which hinted at the two having worked under cover for German BND intelligence, did not say whether they were still in detention.
In Berlin, foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said he was unaware of any German diplomats having been detained in Iran and rejected any Berlin involvement in the protests.
The Iranian deputy intelligence minister was also quoted as reporting that a close advisor of main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was arrested and made "confessions."
He said: "Available evidence and this person's confessions show that he was connected through a point man to the intelligence service of a European country and was releasing confidential information."
A few days after the Shiite commemoration, Iranian officials revealed they had detained a Swedish diplomat for 24 hours on the day of Ashura.
Iran's purported detention of two German diplomats or agents would spark a major crisis between the two countries, recalling the rupture of the mid-90s when Iranian covert agents were arrested in Germany.