Iran accused of plot to attack UAE embassy in Ethiopia

Iran accused of plot to attack UAE embassy in Ethiopia
The 15 suspects were arrested for plotting to attack the UAE embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, (AFP/File)
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Updated 16 February 2021

Iran accused of plot to attack UAE embassy in Ethiopia

Iran accused of plot to attack UAE embassy in Ethiopia
  • New York Times report says plot ringleader detained in Sweden
  • Operation part of Tehran's hunt for 'soft targets' to avenge deaths of senior Iranian figures

LONDON: Iran was behind a recent plot to attack the UAE embassy in Ethiopia, US and Israeli officials have revealed.
Iranian intelligence services activated a sleeper cell in Addis Ababa late last year to also gather intelligence on the US and Israel embassies, the officials told the New York Times.
The operation was part of a wider move to by Iran to seek out softer targets in Africa for revenge attacks after the killings of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by the US and Iran’s main nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, reportedly by Israel.
Ethiopia said earlier this month it had arrested 15 people and seized weapons and explosives as part of the plot against the UAE embassy.
“The group took the mission from a foreign terrorist group and was preparing to inflict significant damage on properties and human lives,” Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) reported.
A second group was planning to attack the UAE's mission in Sudan, EPA said.
A key link to Iran came with the arrest of the ringleader Ahmed Ismail in Sweden.
Rear Adm. Heidi K. Berg, director of intelligence at the Pentagon’s Africa command, told the New York Times that Iran was behind the plot.
“Ethiopia and Sweden collaborated on the disruption to the plot,” she said.
A senior US defense official said the arrests were linked to an Iranian plot to kill the US ambassador to South Africa reported in September.
Iran denied in the New York Times report that it was involved in the Addis Ababa plot.

Soleimani’s shadow
Qassem Soleimani left a trail of death and destruction in his wake as head of Iran’s Quds Force … until his assassination on Jan. 3, 2020. Yet still, his legacy of murderous interference continues to haunt the region