undercover assassins
undercover assassinsScreenshot

A couple was sent by the Iranian government to Sweden as undercover agents with the goal of murdering Jewish citizens, Radio Sweden reported.

According to the investigation, the man and woman, who have been identified as Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, were dispatched by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They were tasked with murdering three Jews in Sweden, including Aron Verständig, Chair of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish communities. Another target for murder was a dual Swedish-American citizen.

The couple were arrested in 2021 after the assassination plot was uncovered. They had been living in Sweden for five years under fake identities as a sleeper cell before being activated to carry out the murders.

Verständig told Radio Sweden that he was reluctant to speak out on the Iranian plot to assassinate him, but decided to do so because he has "a very strong conviction that one cannot hide. I was born a Jew I will remain a Jew for the rest of my life and I can choose to sort of hide under a rock or I can choose to be the person who I am and that's what I've chosen.”

“I think that what Iran wants to do is to harm Israel and I think it’s very difficult for them to do these kind of things in Israel. So instead they are I mean randomly choosing people who have some kind of official position in the Jewish diaspora and trying to create fear,” he said.

Iran and the IRGC have been implicated in numerous plots to attack Jewish targets around the world over many years. In December, a German court ruling implicated the Islamic Republic in a plan to attack a synagogue in 2022.

In 2022, an attempted assassination of an Israeli businessman in the Republic of Georgia by an Iranian-backed terrorist cell was uncovered. Iran was also behind an attempt to target Israeli tourists in Istanbul in the summer of 2022 and an attempt to target Israeli businessmen in Cyprus in October 2021.

In February 2023, British Security Minister Tom Tugendhat confirmed that Iran had been “mapping” Jewish diaspora communities to be attacked by kill squads, stating that the Iranian regime has gathered intelligence on British Jews and targeted them for assassination.