Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has foiled a plot to kill an Israeli diplomat, a U.S. general, and a journalist, detaining an Iranian man ordered to orchestrate the hits, The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday.
The news comes amid reports the Biden administration’s talks on a new Iranian nuclear deal are stalled due to Iran’s demands to drop the Trump-era state sponsor of terror designation.
The Mossad was operating in Iran when it interrogated Mansour Rasouli, who was ordered to establish a cell via drug cartels to assassinate a worker at the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, along with a U.S. general in Germany, and a journalist in France, according to the report.
The Mossad, which usually conducts its operations outside of Iran, noted the foiled plot shows the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds Force are a threat to more than just Israel worldwide.
Iran was reportedly willing to pay more than $1 million for the hits organized by a member of the Quds Force’s Unit 840 in Europe. The Quds Force operative was paid $150,000 to “prepare for the assassinations” by coordinating with European drug lords, according to the report.
Israeli defense officials warn the foiled plots are part of a larger list of plots, tied to the recent ones foiled in Kenya and Colombia.
Reports in Turkey, Britain, and the United States have alleged Iran’s ties to international crime organizations to conduct its terror around the world, including the Iranian intelligence employing the Zindashti cartel to root out Iranian dissidents in Turkey since 2015, the Post reported.
There were 13 arrested by Turkish police in 2020 for Zindashti ties to Iranian intelligence operations.