Report: Uruguay expels Iranian diplomat over attack aimed at Israeli Embassy

Haaretz reports this morning that Uruguay expelled a senior Iranian diplomat from the country over his involvement with an explosion near the Israeli Embassy in Montevideo in January.

The explosion was apparently caused by a crude device in a shopping bag and failed to fully detonate. It was placed in the vicinity of Montevideo’s World Trade Centre office complex where the Israeli Embassy is situated. Although nobody was injured in the attack on 8 January, it was regarded by the Uruguayan authorities as an attack aimed at the Israeli mission, or perhaps to test its response. Uruguay kept Israel updated on the incident but asked that it was not made public.

However, Haaretz reports that one of the consequences of the attack, according to Israeli sources, is that Uruguay has expelled a senior Iranian diplomat thought to have been involved in the incident.

The report comes with Iran’s role in terror in South America in the spotlight recently. Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires flat last month on the eve of publishing a report on the failure of authorities to properly investigate the bombing of a Jewish centre in the Argentinian capital in 1994, which killed 85 people. Nisman accused Argentina’s President Kirchner and the country’s foreign minister of “erasing” Iranian involvement in the terror attack for trade, commercial and political reasons.

Iran is also thought to work closely with Hezbollah aiding its attempts to attack Israeli targets and citizens abroad. In October, a suspected Hezbollah operative was arrested by Peru’s Counter-Terrorism Unit in the capital Lima, on suspicion of planning a terror attack against Israeli targets. Meanwhile, a Bulgarian investigation found Hezbollah responsible for a bus bomb in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas which killed five Israeli tourists in July 2012. In March 2013, a Cypriot court convicted a Hezbollah operative with dual Swedish-Lebanese nationality of helping plan an attack on Israeli tourists on the island.

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