Israel says it foiled 3 Iranian assassinations in Europe

Israel says it foiled 3 Iranian assassinations in Europe
Mossad said all three attempts were foiled thanks to intelligence gleaned from its operatives based in Iran. (FILE/AFP)
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Updated 03 May 2022

Israel says it foiled 3 Iranian assassinations in Europe

Israel says it foiled 3 Iranian assassinations in Europe
  • Mossad said all three attempts were foiled thanks to intelligence gleaned from its operatives based in Iran

LONDON: Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, has said it stopped three assassination attempts in Europe by operatives working for Iran. 

It added that Tehran had sought to target a US general based in Germany, a French journalist, and a diplomat at the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, in retaliation for Israeli assassinations of senior Iranian figures.

Mossad said all three attempts were foiled thanks to intelligence gleaned from its operatives based in Iran.

In a rare admission of overseas activity by Israeli authorities, the government detailed how Mossad had captured and interrogated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member Mansour Rasouli, allegedly a member of Unit 840, which conducts IRGC operations overseas.

In an audio recording released to the Israeli press, Rasouli admitted to being ordered to “assassinate these three for the Islamic Republic,” before promising his interrogators not to carry out the attacks.

The unusual decision to release the information was reportedly sanctioned by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, senior Israeli officials told The Times, in order to put pressure on US President Joe Biden not to take the IRGC off the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

The IRGC’s removal is a key condition of the signing of a new nuclear deal between Iran and other world powers, which Israel opposes. The targeting of a US general by the IRGC would make such a decision difficult to sanction.

Israel rarely admits to the activities of its operatives until years after the events have taken place for security reasons, and the release of information over the foiled assassinations is thought to have prompted discontent among some senior members of its security services.

In 2020, Mossad agents were responsible for the assassination of the head of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

An Israeli source told The Times: “This is a message to Iran. They shouldn’t think they can plan assassinations like this and get away with it.”


Ashrafs opens new Sony showroom at Bahrain City Center

Ashrafs opens new Sony showroom at Bahrain City Center
Updated 8 sec ago

Ashrafs opens new Sony showroom at Bahrain City Center

Ashrafs opens new Sony showroom at Bahrain City Center
  • The showroom will provide customers with a cutting-edge shopping experience, allowing them to browse the latest Sony technology and products

MANAMA: Ashrafs Bahrain, one of the most popular shopping destinations in the Kingdom, is showcasing Sony's extensive product line at its new electronics showroom at Bahrain City Center.

Chairman Farouk Yousif Almoayyed, YK Almoayyed & Sons, Executive Director Amal Yousif Almoayyed, Deputy Managing Director Ashrafs and Jobin Joejoe, and Sony Middle East and Africa were present at the showroom's opening.

The new store will provide customers with a cutting-edge shopping experience by allowing them to browse the latest Sony technology and electronic products, the company stated.Customers will be able to choose from a wide variety of home entertainment, smart devices, premium audio accessories, mobile phones, and ecosystem products.

"We are delighted to announce our presence at the new Ashrafs Bahrain. Shoppers in the kingdom can now enjoy a world class shopping experience and discover a range of Sony products." Joejoe said.

"Consumers in Bahrain are very tech-savvy, and we are excited for Sony fans, including movie buffs, sports fans and gamers, to try our ecosystem of products and enjoy a truly immersive experience," he stated.

The new store will also feature Sony's new Bravia XR series and the Sony WH-1000XM5.


Egypt FM attending freedom of religion conference in London

Egypt FM attending freedom of religion conference in London
Updated 54 min 44 sec ago

Egypt FM attending freedom of religion conference in London

Egypt FM attending freedom of religion conference in London
  • Societies that allow their people to choose what they believe are better, stronger and ultimately more successful

CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is attending the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in London.

The event, which is being held on July 5-6, is hosting 500 religious, government and civil society leaders from 60 countries to call for more action to protect freedom of religion or belief around the world.

In the opening speech of the conference, the UK’s Prince Charles said in a recorded message: “Freedom of conscience, of thought and of belief is central to any truly flourishing society. It allows people to contribute to their communities without fear of exclusion, to exchange ideas without fear of prejudice, and to build relationships without fear of rejection. A society where difference is respected, where it is accepted that all need not think alike, will benefit from the talents of all of its members.”

Speaking at the conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Center in London, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said: “The freedom to believe, to pray and commit acts of worship, or indeed not to believe is a fundamental human freedom and has been one since the dawn of time. Societies that allow their people to choose what they believe are better, stronger and ultimately more successful. This fundamental right is covered in the very first clause of Magna Carta and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is one of the Four Freedoms Franklin D. Roosevelt said were ‘essential everywhere in the world.’”

Yesterday, the Egyptian minister, at the start of his London visit, met UK Minister of State for North Africa, South and Central Asia, the Commonwealth and the UN Lord Tariq Ahmed. The two discussed the conference, Egypt’s preparations for hosting and chairing COP27 in November, and the importance of continuing coordination between Egypt and the UK.


6 dead as twin bomb blasts destroy Yemen arms depot

6 dead as twin bomb blasts destroy Yemen arms depot
Updated 58 min 58 sec ago

6 dead as twin bomb blasts destroy Yemen arms depot

6 dead as twin bomb blasts destroy Yemen arms depot
  • Distraught residents search for missing relatives
  • Al-Qaeda known to be active in area

AL-MUKALLA: At least six people were killed and more than 30 injured on Tuesday when two massive explosions destroyed an arms warehouse in the southern Yemen province of Abyan.

The first blast happened in the morning inside a busy popular market near the weapons depot in Lawder, a large town in the province. As dozens of people milled around after the explosion, a second blast detonated in the two-story building containing the arms depot.

Officials said they could not give a precise number of casualties as the dead and injured were still arriving at Al-Shaheed Mahnef hospital in Lawder. Residents rushed to the hospital to searching for missing relatives and friends, and medical staff called for blood donations. The poorly equipped and understaffed hospital was forced to refer critical cases to larger hospitals in Abyan and Aden.

Authorities launched an investigation into the explosions, but Al-Qaeda are known to be active in the area and twin explosions a short time apart are a terrorist tactic to increase the number of casualties.

Abyan is a contested province between the internationally recognized government and separatists loyal to the Southern Transitional Council. It was the site of fierce battles in 2019 and 2020 that claimed the lives of many soldiers and Houthi terrorist militia fighters.

The Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda exploited the anarchy in the province to make a comeback.

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the province are still holding five UN workers who were abducted in February while returning to neighboring Aden after finishing a field mission.

Local officials and tribal mediators have failed to convince the abductors to release the workers. The kidnappers insist on swapping them with allied prisoners in Aden and demand a ransom of thousands of dollars.

Elsewhere in Yemen, EU envoys have asked the Iran-backed Houthi militia to de-escalate and implement the elements of the UN-brokered truce, mainly lifting their siege on the city of Taiz.

The ambassadors of France and Germany and the Swedish special envoy to Yemen called Hussein Al-Azi, a Houthi leader, to ask him to accept the UN proposal on opening roads in Taiz and work on achieving peace after he threatened to resume military operations in the central province of Marib.

The ambassadors asked the Houthi leader to constructively engage with the UN Yemen envoy’s proposal and create “positive public rhetoric.”

It was “time to continue delivering on the expectations of Yemenis, who want and need peace,” the EU mission in Yemen said. 


Investor in court for practicing unlicensed cosmetic medicine in Dubai

Investor in court for practicing unlicensed cosmetic medicine in Dubai
Updated 05 July 2022

Investor in court for practicing unlicensed cosmetic medicine in Dubai

Investor in court for practicing unlicensed cosmetic medicine in Dubai
  • Suspect arrested during sting operation before applying a Botox injection for $1,275
  • If found guilty, the unlicensed doctor could face three years in jail, lawyer tells Arab News

DUBAI: An investor in a medical consultation company could face up to three years in jail, and/or a fine up to $542,700, if found guilty of practicing unlicensed medicine in Dubai.
Prosecutors referred the unidentified investor to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court for practicing medicine without obtaining a proper license after he was found to be injecting patients with cosmetic Botox and fillers.
Haifa Al-Marzouqi, assistant chief prosecutor at the Dubai Public Prosecution, said in a statement on Tuesday that the Dubai Healthcare Authority received a tip from an informant about a person practicing cosmetic medicine and applying fillers and Botox on patients at their homes.
“In collaboration with the DHA’s inspection department, someone posed as a potential patient and contacted the suspect to apply on her cosmetic injections. As part of a sting operation, the suspect was apprehended in a flat that was rented for that purpose,” said Al-Marzouqi.
Primary interrogations unveiled that the suspect is an investor in a medical consultation company and not a licensed doctor.
Lawyer Faisal Al-Zarouni told Arab News, that if found guilty, the suspect could be facing between one month and three years in jail, a fine varying between $54,270 and $542,700 or both punishments.
“According to the law … based on which prosecutors are requesting the court to try the suspect, it means the latter provided the health licensing authorities with false documents to obtain a license and practice medicine,” said Al-Zarouni.
Al-Marzouqi said the suspect came to the flat carrying a medium-sized handbag containing medical equipment and medical ointments.
After examining the informant’s face, he provided her with a medical consultation and advised that she needed a Botox injection in her forehead, and said he would charge her an amount of $1,275 for the procedure.
When asked how the public could prevent themselves against falling victim to unlicensed doctors, Al-Zarouni advised them to inquire about the doctor’s licenses listed on the DHA’s website.
Sources told Arab News a hearing will be scheduled next month.
 


President of UAE pardons 737 prisoners ahead of Eid Al-Adha

President of UAE pardons 737 prisoners ahead of Eid Al-Adha
Updated 05 July 2022

President of UAE pardons 737 prisoners ahead of Eid Al-Adha

President of UAE pardons 737 prisoners ahead of Eid Al-Adha
  • The presidential pardon comes within UAE's humanitarian initiatives based on forgiveness and tolerance

ABU DAHBI: President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the release of 737 prisoners in the UAE, ahead of Eid Al-Adha, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The pardoned prisoners had received prison sentences for a variety of offenses and the President also pledged to settle the financial obligations of the released prisoners.

The pardon is part of the UAE's humanitarian initiatives based on the values of forgiveness and tolerance, allowing the released prisoners to begin a new chapter in their lives and positively contribute to society, WAM reported.

In November, the former president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan also ordered the release of 870 prisoners to commemorate the UAE's milestone 50th National Day.

This was followed by the release of 540 prisoners in March, ahead of Ramadan.

With Eid Al-Adha approaching, the President's annual pardon aims to strengthen family bonds by reuniting inmates with their mothers, wives, and children.