Mossad said to thwart Iran’s IRGC plan to assassinate an Israeli diplomat in Turkey


The Mossad spy agency recently foiled an Iranian attempt to assassinate an Israeli diplomat who worked at the consulate in Istanbul, Hebrew-language media reported on Saturday.

The outlets said a number of Israeli officials have corroborated previous reports of the plot by London-based Iran International, an Iranian opposition news outlet.

Iran International said that in addition to the Israeli consulate official, an American general stationed in Germany and a journalist in France were also targeted by the conspiracy.

According to the unsourced report, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has been arrested in connection with the planned attack in an unnamed European country. It was not clear when exactly the plot unfolded.

The suspect is said to have been a member of Quds Force Unit 840, the branch of the IRGC tasked with conducting overseas operations. He is also said to have had ties to drug smuggling networks.

According to the report, the suspect told investigators he was paid $150,000 to prepare the assassination and would receive another $1 million if he killed the three targets.

A view of the Istanbul skyline with the famous Galata Tower, January 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

There was no official comment on the report from Turkey or Israel.

In February it was reported that Mossad had helped thwart 12 plans to carry out terrorist attacks on Israelis in Turkey over the past two years, most of them linked to the jihadist group Islamic State.

Saturday’s reports of the foiled attack on the Israeli diplomat came the day after al-Qud Day, the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iranian leaders and top generals celebrated the occasion by railing against Israel and calling for the destruction of the city sworn to the Jewish state.

The reported assassination attempt also comes amid warming relations between Jerusalem and Ankara and as attempts to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers stall.

Last year, Turkish intelligence reportedly foiled an Iranian plan to assassinate an Israeli-Turkish businessman who lives in Istanbul and owns an engineering firm specializing in aerospace technology.

The planned strike was intended to be in retaliation for the 2020 assassination of Iran’s nuclear chief Mohsen Fachrizadeh, widely attributed to Israel’s Mossad, the reports said, as well as a means of preventing Ankara-Jerusalem relations from warming.

Iranians prepare to set fire to an Israeli flag next to a picture of late Iranian general Qasem Soleimani during an Al-Quds Day rally in Tehran April 29, 2022. (AFP)

In the months following the alleged attempt to kill the Israeli businessman, relations between Israel and Turkey have deepened even further, with President Isaac Herzog meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara last month.

Founded in 2017, Iran International reaches millions of Iranians in Iran and around the world. It is considered an opposition news agency to the Iranian regime and has made headlines for reporting on issues such as human rights abuses, LGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights in Iran.

In February, former Israeli president and convicted sex offender Moshe Katsav gave the outlet a rare interview.

2018, The Guardian reported that the channel was funded by a company with ties to Saudi Arabia. Iran International denied the report.

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