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3 Oct, 2019 15:49

Iran says it foiled ASSASSINATION plot against elite Quds brigade commander Soleimani

Iran says it foiled ASSASSINATION plot against elite Quds brigade commander Soleimani

An assassination attempt on the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force has been foiled and several of its “Hebrew-Arab” plotters captured, Tehran claims as cited by local media. The assault was meant to trigger sectarian violence.

After years of plotting, the suspects had generated a plan to pack explosives under a Shiite congregation hall in Kerman, southeastern Iran, it is reported. They further aimed to detonate it when Brigade Major General Qassem Soleimani visited in September, Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) security chief Hossein Taeb announced.

The plotters, Taeb says, hoped to purchase a property next to the religious hall, which belonged to Soleimani’s late father, and pack it with up to 500kg of explosives with the help of a team of terrorist recruits. The latter were first transferred to “a neighboring state” for training purposes before they were sent to Iran.

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Their presence in that country was apparently what tipped off IRGC intelligence, which had them under surveillance.

All members of the three-strong team have been arrested. The murder of Soleimani during the Islamic Tasua and Ashura mourning ceremonies would, the plotters hoped, start a sectarian war in Iran, being mistaken for a domestic revenge killing rather than foreign aggression, Taeb alleged.

Soleimani recently told Iranian media that he had been targeted by an Israeli drone before, during the country’s 2006 war with Lebanon. 

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Saudi Arabia was reportedly considering hiring private contractors to assassinate Soleimani in 2017, according to the New York Times, which reported Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting with a small group of businessmen to discuss the use of private-sector operators to sabotage both Iran’s military – by killing Soleimani – and its economy. 

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