Thursday 19 April 2018

Iran planning more retaliatory attacks, warns Israel

Phoebe Greenwood in Jerusalem and Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok

ISRAEL warned that Iran was planning more attacks on its interests worldwide yesterday as Thailand said police were hunting a fourth Iranian accused of plotting to kill diplomats in Bangkok. Iran will use its alliance with Hezbollah, the radical Shia movement based in south Lebanon, to carry out overseas operations, according to Israeli officials.

The aim would be to retaliate for the assassinations of five Iranian nuclear scientists and the head of the country's ballistic missile programme.

Tehran has publicly blamed Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency, for these incidents.

"Iran and Hezbollah are planning more attacks overseas," a senior Israeli official told journalists yesterday.

While he could not say which countries were most at risk, he said that Israel has "general information reflecting intent".

The US has also warned police forces to be on higher alert for possible attacks, especially in cities with large Iranian communities.

Thailand's police are now seeking another suspect in what they believe was a failed plot to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Bangkok. The plan went wrong when a device exploded accidentally inside a house rented by a group of Iranian citizens. Nikkahfard Javad (52), an Iranian citizen, was caught on CCTV footage several hours before this blast. General Winai Thongson, the Bangkok police commissioner, said that he might have been giving bomb-making training to the other Iranians.

Two men were captured after the explosion, while a third fled to Malaysia, where he is currently facing extradition proceedings. One woman, Leila Rohani, is believed to have escaped to Iran. While this operation turned into a fiasco, experts point to the attempts to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India earlier this week. The latter operation was far more professional. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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