Insider news & Analysis in Iran

 Haider Syed Mustafa,  a 31 year old Pakistani man, is accused of collecting information on Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israeli Association in Berlin, and Daniel Rouach, a French-Israeli professor from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris, for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He went on trial in Berlin on Wednesday over allegations of spying for Iran in Europe.

Mustafa refused to make a statement as the trial opened.

Mustafa collected information including photos and videos of Robbe, and Rouach, as wells as details of their workplaces, homes, families and acquaintances, their neighborhoods, and the public transportation they frequented, according to prosecutors.  He allegedly sent this information to a contact called “Mahmud", who passed it on to the elite Iranian Quds Force unit.

Mustafa came to Germany in 2012 to study for an engineering degree at the University of Bremen. Prosecutor Michael Greven told the Berlin state court that he collected the information on Robbe and Rouach between July 2015 and July 2016, on trips to both Berlin and Paris. While he spent several days in each city, he "apparently clandestinely" shot more than 900 photos and dozens of videos with a digital camera and with his iPhone. While in Berlin, he also collected information on the Jewish newspaper Juedische Allgemeine.

As he read out the indictment, Greven said, "The al Quds unit has its own agents ... and it considers Israel its arch enemy.” It’s unclear how far along in their alleged planning the Iranians were when Mustafa was arrested. To date, no attacks have been carried out.

Mustafa provided his reports in the form of Power Point presentations, that highlighted the both individuals' security situations, and details of surveillance cameras, security personnel and police presence, prosecutors said.

According to Greven, Mustafa received at least 2,052 euros ($2,170) for his spying activities. He traveled to Pakistan in October 2015 and February 2016, and from there Greven believes he continued on to Iran, where he met with his contact Mahmud.

On Monday, the trial will resume, and the court has scheduled eight days of hearings. If convicted, Mustafa faces a possible five years in prison.

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