German flags at Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
German flags at Reichstag, Berlin, GermanyiStock

Germany protested to Iran on Tuesday after a court ruling implicated the Islamic Republic in a plan to attack a synagogue last year, The Associated Press reported.

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. The defendant denied planning to attack the synagogue. The school sustained minor damage, according to AP.

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, German news agency 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”. In the wake of the ruling, Germany’s Foreign Ministry wrote on 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.”

Germany has seen a series of incidents of antisemitic violence in recent years.

In 2019, a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. When he failed to enter the synagogue, he murdered two passersby.

Antisemitism has been on the rise in Germany since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza.

In one incident, a synagogue in the German capital of Berlin was firebombed by two assailants. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

In late October, police in the western German city of Essen arrested a man who plotted to attack a pro-Israel demonstration.