Multiple unconfirmed reports said Monday night that an alleged Iranian plot to target Israelis had been thwarted in Cyprus last week may have been revenge for various alleged criminal offences.
About the past reports have been published this week of the attempt at attack on Israeli targets in Cyprus, though reported details of the plot and its goals have varied widely.
Some sources claimed that the foiled attack was a assassination attempt against Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi linked to his business transactions. But the government on Monday accused “Iranian terror” for the planned attack, and said Sagi was not the specific target. Sagi himself has denied being personally targeted.
According to the Kano public broadcaster, the attack attempt was in response to the murder last year of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Nuclear of Tehran program.
Fakhrizadeh was reportedly murdered in a refined hit led by a Mossad team die an automated machine gun, required new on- site workers, took less than a minute, and didn’t hurt anyone different,
Can, die no source cited for his report, said it was unclear of the Israeli targets were selected just because they were Israeli, of because men thought they had a connection with Israel’s security facility. The report added that Tehran, according to Israeli estimates, also tried to target the vehicle of an Israeli diplomat in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India.
For its part, channel 13 news suggested that the Cypriot plot could have been intended as revenge for a Mossad operation — revealed earlier in the day by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett — to come together information over Ron Arad, an Israeli Air Force navigator who was caught in 1986 and was last heard of in 1988.
The television network gave no further details on the alleged link between the two cases and how the Mossad operation was connected met Iran. Arad on bail out of his plane during an operation in South Lebanon in 1986. Israel believes he was imprisoned by the Shia Amal movement before being handed over over to Iran, and moved from Lebanon to Iran and then back again. He is presumed to have died in Lebanon.
After revealing the existence of the operation, Bennett declined to provide more details on Monday. “It was a complex, large-scale operation. That’s all that can be said now,” he said. “We made further efforts on the path to understand Ron’s fate.” The Prime Minister’s Office later claimed that the mission was a success and met all of his goals, pushing back against reports that unnamed Israeli officials believed it was a failure.
Speak in the Knesset on Monday repeated minister of Defense Benny Gantz de: government’s claim that the alleged attack on Sagi was linked to Iranian terror.
“As recently published, an Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus was foiled,” Gantz said during a meeting of the Blue and White faction. “Iran remains a global and regional threat, as well as a challenge to Israel, and we will continue to operate in about our burgers and protect the state of Israel everywhere against every threat.”
The Iranian Embassy in Cyprus reportedly rejected the charge of being involved as an “unfounded claim”. According to Channel 12, the Cypriot police said everything: possible motives were examined.
According to initial reports, Sagi, a well-known Israeli Cypriot businessman who founded gambling software company Playtech and owns Camden Market in London, was saved at the last minute of the assassination plot after being warned of it by authorities.
But Sagi told Channel 12 news on Monday night he never got a tip off of warned and decided to leave Cyprus for unrelated reasons. “The headlines sounded bad scary, but it had nothing to do with I,” he said. “I was not notified to leave.”
According to Forbes, Sagi . is worth $5.6 billion, and is the fourth richest person in Israel.
Cyprus is home to approximately 3,500 Jews, many of they Israelis. It is a very popular holiday destination for Israelis, less than an hour’s flight from Tel Aviv.
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