by: Kate Norman
Monday, 2 May 2022 | Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, thwarted an Iranian plot to assassinate an Israeli diplomat in Turkey, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
Mansour Rasouli, 52, is a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, serving in the elite Quds Force, the branch that operates outside of Iranian territory. Rasouli reportedly admitted to Israeli agents that he was paid an initial US $150,000 to assassinate a staff member at the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as a US general in Germany and a journalist in France.
After completing the mission, Rasouli would have received another US $1 million.
Rasouli was arrested and interrogated at his home in Iran, the Times of Israel reported, citing Hebrew media, though initially it was reported that he was detained in an undisclosed European country.
The Mossad released Rasouli after interrogating him, the Times of Israel reported. “I made a mistake,” the Quds Force member said, as quoted by the Israeli news agency. “From here on out I won’t make any move regarding this, I swear.”
Rasouli is reportedly a member of Unit 840 of the Quds Force, which the Jerusalem Post described as “a relatively secretive operational unit that organizes terrorist infrastructure outside Iran against Western targets and opposition groups, according to the IDF [Israel Defense Forces].”
The Quds Force paid Rasouli the US $150,000 to prepare for the assassinations by utilizing his ties to European drug lords.
London-based Iran International first broke the news on Saturday of the thwarted plot, which was later confirmed by Hebrew media, citing an unnamed “senior Israeli intelligence source,” Israel Hayom reported.
The timing of the thwarted plot is unclear, though Israel Hayom reported it happened sometime last year.
This story was unearthed amid interesting international developments, as ties between Israel and Turkey continue to warm, and as ties between Israel and Iran—as well as ties between Iran and most of the Western world—continue to freeze.
The floundering nuclear talks in Vienna appear to have hit a standstill as the United States and Western allies fail to draw Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The crisis in Ukraine has drawn the world’s attention, leaving the nuclear talks in Vienna on the international backburner.
Meanwhile, relations between Israel and Turkey appear to have been warming up, despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s well document history of inflammatory anti-Semitic remarks.
Erdoğan nonetheless welcomed Israeli President Isaac Herzog for a visit to Turkey in March, the first visit by an Israeli leader on Turkish soil in nearly 15 years—marking a significant step forward in relations between the two countries.
Turkish media announced last year that the nation’s intelligence thwarted another plot to assassinate an Israeli on Turkish soil—another plot tied to Iran.
Nine operatives, both Iranian and Turkish, were reportedly plotting to kill Yair Geller, an Israeli Turkish businessman based in Istanbul. The plot was reportedly an intended retaliation for the 2020 killing of Iran’s nuclear chief, Mohsen Fakhirzadeh, which was allegedly the handiwork of the Mossad.
Posted on May 2, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 2, 2022)
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