Israel’s Mossad reportedly apprehended and questioned a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who planned a series of assassination operations abroad targeting an Israeli diplomat at the Istanbul consulate, an American general in Germany and a French journalist who is Jewish.
The suspect, Mansour Rasouli, was said to have been a member of the Iranian Quds Force, the branch of the IRGC tasked with carrying out overseas operations.
The foiled plot was first reported on Saturday by Iran International, an Iranian opposition outlet based in London. Details of the report were later confirmed by several Israeli media outlets, however many details are still lacking.
The initial report claimed the Iranian operative was arrested in an unnamed European country and is currently being held there. Several Israeli media outlets, such as Ynet, reported that the Mossad spy agency caught Rasouli in Iran and released him after he delivered information which has since led to the capture of an entire terror cell. It is unclear exactly how and when these events unfolded and in what order.
In an audio recording made public on Saturday, Rasouli confessed to receiving $150,000 for organizing the assassinations with another $1 million promised upon completion of the operations.
“I have made a mistake. Starting this moment on, I will not take any further step in that realm. I swear in mother’s life, my daughter’s life, my own life and my family. It was a mistake on my behalf that I shall not ever repeat with God’s help,” said Rasouli.
The news broke as world powers are still negotiating a new nuclear deal with Tehran. Iran’s demand to remove the IRGC’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) has turned into a major hurdle in the process to renew the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action from 2015.
Following a recent phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Israeli authorities reportedly believe that Washington will maintain the IRGC terror designation.
On Friday, Iran’s supreme leader delivered a speech for Quds Day, in which he mocked the U.S. for “consecutive defeats” in Afghanistan and “internal management of its own affairs.” He also condemned Muslim states in the Persian Gulf for normalizing relations with Israel.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.