Mossad Reportedly Thwarted IRGC Assassination of US General in Germany
13:17 GMT 13.05.2022 (Updated: 17:26 GMT 15.01.2023)
© AFP 2023 / -A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on September 22, 2019 shows President Hassan Rouhani (C) and other top military commanders watching members the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) marching past during the annual "Sacred Defence Week" military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran. - Rouhani said on September 22 that the presence of foreign forces creates "insecurity" in the Gulf, after the US ordered the deployment of more troops to the region. "Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said in a televised speech at the annual military parade, adding that Iran would present to the UN a regional cooperation plan for peace. (Photo by Iranian Presidency / AFP)
© AFP 2023 / -
The hit was allegedly part of a bigger plot that involved killing an Israeli diplomat in Turkey and a journalist in France. Media reports claim that the suspected hitman later insisted that he was innocent and was forced to confess.
Israel's Mossad spy agency has reportedly captured a man and accused him of planning a series of assassinations, including an unnamed US general based in Germany, an Israeli diplomat working in Turkey and a journalist in France. According to Israel’s Channel 12 and UK-based Iran International news outlet, the hits were ordered by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Fifty-two year-old Mansour Rasouli was allegedly whisked out of Iran in April and interrogated until he confessed, the media said. He was also reportedly promised over $1 million for killing the general, with the names of the suspected victims not disclosed.
According to Iran International, Rasouli is a member of an Iranian criminal group which engages in smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering, but was also "close" to the IRGC.
The Iranian has, however, denied the claims in a video. Contrary to Mossad accusations, he states to have been abducted and forced to confess under torture to deeds he never did or planned doing. He stressed that he was just a farmer, not a hitman.
"Criminals abducted me […] They put a bag over my head and took me to an unknown location. They told me they’d kill me and my family and tortured me severely. They told me I had to say everything they told me — that I was an emissary of the Revolutionary Guards and that I was sent to kill people in Europe and Turkey", Rasouli said.
The suspected assassin further said that his phone was stolen and that more videos featuring him might be leaked in the future.
The US Department of State has not commented on the reports, however, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously claimed the existence of a persistent "threat" that current and former US officials might be targeted by the IRGC, which Washington designated as a terrorist organisation in 2019.
7 May 2022, 19:37 GMT
The blacklisting of the IRGC, which is a separate and independent branch of Iran's Armed Forces, became the last obstacle on the path of the Vienna talks which looked to restore the Iran nuclear deal. The US refuses to remove the IRGC from the terrorist list and Tehran, in turn, refuses to strike a deal. EU top diplomat Josep Borrell recently claimed that he will attempt to propose a middle ground to both which includes removing the IRGC as a whole from the blacklist but keeping some branches of it on the list.
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