Police vehicles arrive at a court, where a remand order was issued against a man suspected of plotting to murder Israeli businesspeople on the island, in Nicosia, Cyprus October 6, 2021.

Two Iranians Questioned Over Plots To Attack Israelis In Cyprus

Sunday, 12/10/2023

Two Iranians have been detained in Cyprus for questioning over suspected planning of attacks on Israeli citizens living in Cyprus, a Cypriot newspaper reported on Sunday.

The two individuals were believed to be in the early stages of gathering intelligence on potential Israeli targets, the Kathimerini Cyprus newspaper said without citing sources.

The paper added that the Iranians were political refugees in contact with a person linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

A senior Cyprus official declined to comment, citing policy on issues concerning national security.

Barely a 40-minute flight from Israel, Cyprus is a popular holiday and investment destination for thousands of Israelis.

Also on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli intelligence service Mossad helped Cyprus foil an Iranian-ordered attack against Israelis and Jews on the island, saying such plots were on the rise since the Gaza war erupted.

Israel is "troubled" by what it sees as Iranian use of Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus "both for terrorism objectives and as an operational and transit area," the statement added.

Netanyahu also said in June that an Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus had been thwarted. Iran has been implicated in many assassinations, kidnappings and terror attacks abroad against dissidents and opponents.

In the past, Israel and Cyprus have worked together to foil Iranian attacks on Israelis. Two years ago, an Azeri national with a Russian passport, who was acting on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, was arrested by Cypriot intelligence services. The hitman was hired to kill an Israeli businessman.

Earlier this year, the IRGC accused Israel of assassinating its military adviser Milad Haydari with an airstrike in Syria, vowing to retaliate.

(With reporting by Reuters)

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