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Germany detains man suspected of spying for Iran

Mahmoud Alavi is an Iranian cleric, politician and the minister of intelligence in Hassan Rouhani's government. (Mostafameraji/Wikimedia Commons)
This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

German authorities say they have detained a 50-year old Afghan-German dual national suspected of passing data to an Iranian intelligence agency.

The suspect, identified only as 50-year-old Abdul Hamid S., worked as a “language expert and cultural adviser” for the German military, the federal prosecutor’s office said on January 15.

“In this capacity, he is believed to have passed on information to an Iranian intelligence service,” a statement said.

A Defense Ministry spokesman said it was aware of an espionage case involving a member of the Bundeswehr, but declined to give any further details.

The suspect, who was detained in the Rhineland in western Germany, was set to appear before a judge later in the day.

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German news outlet Spiegel Online reported that the man had spied on the army for years and had access to highly classified material, including the German troops’ mission in Afghanistan.

There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials on the case.