Germany protests to Iran after a court ruling implicates Tehran in a plot to attack a synagogue

BERLIN (AP) — Germany protested to Iran on Tuesday after a court ruling implicated the Islamic republic in a plan to attack a synagogue last year.

The Duesseldorf state court convicted a German-Iranian man of attempted arson and agreeing to commit arson and sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison.

Judges found that the man threw an incendiary device at a school in the western city of Bochum in November 2022 because the neighboring synagogue appeared too well secured, German news agency dpa reported. The defendant denied planning to attack the synagogue. The school received minor damage.

The court found the 36-year-old defendant had been tasked with the attack by a former Hells Angels member who had gone to Iran, and that Iran was behind the latter man, dpa reported.

A court statement said the defendant tried in vain to persuade an acquaintance to join him in carrying out the attack, and that he ultimately threw the incendiary device at the school “to simulate carrying out the act, or at least corresponding efforts, to the initiator.”

The German judges established that “the plan for the attack stems from an Iranian state institution,” according to the statement, which didn’t give more precise details.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry wrote Tuesday on social platform X that the Iranian charge d’affaires was summoned to discuss the matter.

“It is intolerable that Jewish life was to be attacked here,” it added. “We will tolerate no foreign-steered violence in Germany.”

The ministry said the court’s detailed reasons for the verdict will be important in determining “consequences and (the) next steps,” including at the European Union level. In Germany, detailed written verdicts are generally issued a few weeks after the end of a trial.

More about: