IRGC members march during a parade in Tehran, on September 22, 2011. (Reuters)

November 9, 2021

Iran and African countries have remained silent about Israeli media claims that Mossad had foiled Iranian plots to “target” Israeli nationals or Jews in Africa.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported Sunday night that five people with African passports had been arrested by “local intelligence in these countries,” after Mossad, the external Israeli intelligence agency, had thwarted multiple Iranian “plots” against Israeli tourists and businessmen in Tanzania, Senegal, and Ghana.

The channel claimed the five had been trained in Lebanon and returned to Africa posing as religious students to identify Israeli targets, including tourists on safari in Tanzania, to attack.

In February, American and Israeli officials said Iran was behind a thwarted operation against the United Arab Emirates embassy in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and that a cell of 15 had been arrested in Ethiopia and Sweden. Iran, which had condemned the ‘normalization’ of relations between the UAE and Israel, denied the accusations. In September Cyprus said it had arrested an Azerbaijani national over an Iranian plot to attack Israeli businessmen there.

Iran has always denied such allegations, either denying the Islamic Republic’s and IRGC’s affiliation with the accused or claiming that these incidents were only plots to paint Iran in a bad light in the international community.

Iran has blamed Israel – and Israeli officials have appeared to confirm – acts of violence in Iran including explosion at Natanz enrichment facility in July 2020 and the killing of nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020.

Iranian officials recently also accused Israel and the United States of being behind a cyberattack that disrupted sales of subsidized gasoline to motorists. Gholamreza Jalali, head of Passive Defense Organization (PDO), which is in charge of cyber security, told Iranian state TV that Iran was sure that the US and Israel had planned attacks on Iran’s railways in July and the Shahid Rajaee port in May 2020. Five days after the fuel distribution attack, a group called ‘Black Shadow’ targeted an Israeli data and internet company.

Both Iran and Israel have stepped up their rhetoric since Fakhrizadeh’s assassination. Last month a top Israeli official told Iran International that an attack against Iran’s nuclear targets was a priority and Israeli media reported the military was beginning training. Channel 12 reported last month that Israel had allocated $1.5 billion for attacks on Iran.

Iran International

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.