Iran, with Hizbullah compliance, is behind plots to kill U.S. officials and Jews with sniper fire and bombs, The Washington Post reported Monday in its lead article.
The information on the plots is another thread in the growing web of apparent international terrorism backed by Iran against Americans and Jews and which so far has produced attempted assassinations and several reported plots. “There is not yet a smoking gun, but the pattern is clear, and each day the volume of evidence grows,” said a Western diplomat, quoted by the Washington Post.
India has determined that Iran was behind an assassination attempt on the wife of an Israeli embassy official several months ago, and plots in Baku as well as a bomb blast in Bangkok have been traced to Iran.
The Washington Post stated that U.S. intelligence officials knew in November that Iran was behind plans for snipers to use silencer-rifles and a car bomb to kill American embassy employees in Azerbaijan
Shortly afterwards, Azerbaijan arrested more than 20 suspects, but the newspaper added, “U.S. and Middle Eastern officials now see the attempts as part of a broader campaign by Iran-linked operatives to kill foreign diplomats in at least seven countries over a span of 13 months.”
Half a dozen Israelis, as well as two officials from Saudi Arabia, were among those who were on the terrorists’ hit list.
Recent information implicates Hizbullah, heavily financed by Iran, in the plots, but there is no conclusive evidence.
As Iran engages the international community in talks over its nuclear program, the threats have taken a lower profile, but a Western diplomat told the Washington newspaper, “What happens if the talks fail — that’s anyone’s guess.”
Azerbaijan and its neighbor Iran are on difficult terms, with Iran accusing its neighbor of being an ally of Israel, which allegedly has struck an agreement allowing Israel to use its air space, and possible its territory, to stage an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.
Azerbaijan revealed several months ago that 10 Iranians were involved in plots for smuggling weapons and explosives into the country to kill Jews in Baku.
Other terrorist plots include the foiled assassination of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington earlier this year and plots to kill diplomats in several Asian countries, including Turkey and Pakistan.