In Brief: Iran’s IRGC implicated in German synagogue shooting

Ayatollah Khamenei > Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0; via Wikimedia Commons

An attack on a historic synagogue in Essen, Germany last November was reportedly perpetrated by a biker gang leader who now lives in Iran and is accused of directing antisemitic attacks from there.

Ramin Yektaparast, who is wanted on suspicion of murder in Germany, was named as a suspect in a series of attacks against German synagogues in December, and is reported to be an asset of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

He fled from Germany to Iran in 2021, after being suspected of murdering a fellow gang member.

A former US counterterrorism official told the Washington Post that the IRGC frequently incorporates criminal organisations into its activity.

The Washington Institute’s Matthew Levitt said that the IRGC is increasingly turning from high-level assassination plots to “softer” targets, including targeting Jews.

Last summer, Israeli and Turkish authorities were forced to warn Israelis against visiting Turkey due to the risk of attacks by Iranian assets.

Last year also saw the Washington Post report that Iran had targeted prominent Jews and Israelis around the world, including community leaders and public figures.

Iran’s track record of targeting Jews internationally dates back decades, including the involvement of Iranian agents in the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, in which 85 people were killed.