PM blames Iran for thwarted Cyprus terror attack

Cypriot authorities await investigation results before commenting on "delicate" case of Israelis targeted in Cyprus.

July 16, 2012 01:57
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Sunday for what he described as an attempted Hezbollah attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus, the second time this month he has pointed a finger at Tehran for attempted terrorist attacks against Israelis abroad.

Earlier this month he charged that Iran planned an attack against Israeli targets in Kenya after two Iranians were arrested on June 25 for possession of 15 kilograms of explosives.

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Cypriot authorities on July 7 arrested a 24-year-old Swedish passport holder of Lebanese descent, after he tracked the movement of Israeli tourists on the island.

Netanyahu, at the weekly cabinet meeting, said: “This attempted terrorist attack was under Iranian auspices. It is part of an Iranian plan. Iran perpetrates terrorism in Asia, Europe and America – it attempted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US. Iran perpetrates terrorism in the Middle East and, of course, we call on the international community to take urgent action against Iran, which is the biggest exporter of terrorism in the world.”

Cypriot Justice and Public Order Minister Loucas Louca said authorities were waiting for the results of their investigation before releasing further information.

“This is a serious and delicate case and any statements may harm the case,” he told reporters on Sunday.

A Cypriot government source said the arrest took place following information from foreign intelligence agencies.

An Israeli official said the Mossad was involved in the investigation. Asked if a Mossad tip had prompted the arrest, the official declined comment.

Netanyahu accused Iran earlier this year of being behind attacks – both attempted and carried out – on Israeli targets in Georgia, India and Thailand.

Iran denied involvement.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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