Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran yesterday for what he described as an attempted Hezbollah attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus, the second time this month he has pointed to Tehran for attempting terrorist attacks against Israelis abroad.
Earlier this month Netanyahu charged that Iran planned an attack against Israeli targets in Kenya after two Iranians were arrested on 25 June for possession of 15 kg of explosives.
Cypriot authorities on 7 July arrested a 24-year-old Swedish passport holder of Lebanese descent, after he tracked the movement of Israeli tourists on the island.
Netanyahu, at the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, said: “This attempted terrorist attack was under Iranian auspices. It is part of an Iranian plan. Iran perpetrates terrorism in Asia, Europe and America – it attempted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US. Iran perpetrates terrorism in the Middle East and, of course, we call on the international community to take urgent action against Iran, which is the biggest exporter of terrorism in the world.”
Cypriot Justice and Public Order Minister Loucas Louca said authorities were waiting for the results of their investigation before releasing further information. “This is a serious and delicate case and any statements may harm the case,” he told reporters on Sunday.
A Cypriot government source said the arrest took place following information from foreign intelligence agencies. An unnamed Israeli official, quoted in the press this morning, has claimed Mossad (Israel’s foreign intelligence service) was involved in the investigation.
Earlier this year Netanyahu also accused Iran of being behind other terrorist attacks – both attempted and carried out – on Israeli targets in Georgia, India and Thailand.
Iran, for its part, denies any involvement.