“It is clear that Iran is expanding its network in Europe to this day and that Hamburg is still at the center of this network,” says the historian and Islam expert Christian Osthold.
The Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center in the northern city of Hamburg oversees a growing network in Europe that is tolerated by the state and federal authorities in Germany.
In a bombshell January exposé in the German magazine Focus titled “The long arm of the mullahs: Iran‘s European network is controlled from Hamburg,” the historian and Islam expert Christian Osthold unpacks the dangers of the Iranian clerical regime in Europe.
The historian said “When I gave an interview to the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in March 2019, I learned that all properties associated with the Copenhagen Imam Ali Mosque would become the property of the Islamic Center Hamburg in the event of closure.”
He added that “since the Copenhagen mosque was only opened on October 1, 2015, it is clear that Iran is expanding its network in Europe to this day and that Hamburg is still at the center of this network.”
The Islamic Community of Shi’ite Communities of Germany is controlled by the Islamic Center of Hamburg, wrote Osthold. The reach of the Islamic Center Hamburg stretches to the Islamic European Union of Sharia Scholars and Theologians, according to Osthold’s analysis.The Jerusalem Post can reveal that the address for the Islamic European Union is the same as the Islamic Center Hamburg: Schöne Aussicht 36, Hamburg.
Osthold took the Germany’s government to task for failing to crackdown on Tehran’s growing presence in Germany.
“For years now, Berlin in particular has been failing to contain Iranian influence in its own country,” wrote Osthold.
There appears to be as many as 150 Shi’ite communities in Germany under the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran via the Islamic Center Hamburg. In the capital, Berlin, there a total of 24 Shi’ite associations who are members of the Islamic Center that oversee 15 prayer rooms, wrote Osthold.
The Post reported in January that a group of 600 pro-Iranian regime Islamists from the Islamic Center Hamburg attended a memorial service mourning the death of the EU- and US-designated terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
The US neutralized Soleimani in January because the American Defense Department said he planned terrorist attacks against US diplomats.
The mourners from the Islamic Center praised Soleimani as a “heroic martyr.”
Soleimani was responsible for the murders of over 600 military personnel in Iraq, according to the US State Department.
Osthold noted that the Islamic Center is viewed as a valued partner for the city’s church and political establishments. Hamburg’s social democratic government negotiated a 2012 agreement with Muslim organizations that pledged common values and peaceful activities and tolerance. According to the contract, the Islamic Center agreed to “international understanding and tolerance toward other cultures, religions and world views.”
Hamburg’s domestic intelligence agency has monitored the Islamic Center for the last 26 years. According to Hamburg intelligence agency’s 2018 report, “the Islamic Center has established a nationwide network of contacts and exerts influence on Shi’ites of different nationalities as well as Shi’ite Islamic mosques and associations, right down to complete control.”
Iran’s regime is classified as the worst state-sponsor of terrorism by the US government. The regime of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei is animated by the goals of its 1979 Islamic revolution—a deeply anti-Western expansionist Islamist revolutionary ideology that seeks the destruction of Israel and a system of gender apartheid.
Despite the German intelligence data about the Islamic Center Hamburg, the entity sill functions as the center of Iran’s network in Europe, said Osthold.
He recommended that “before the German government sets out to solve the Iran crisis, it would do well to first ensure that the situation inside [Germany] is clear. This would contribute significantly to finally finding a stringent foreign policy towards Tehran.”