The US Africa Command’s director of intelligence confirmed the report.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
“Fifteen people arrested in Ethiopia were part of what American and Israeli officials said was a foiled Iranian plot against diplomats from the United Arab Emirates,” The New York Times reported on Monday.
“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 earlier this month, but refrained from fingering Iran as the culprit.
Rear Adm. Heidi K. Berg, US Africa Command’s director of intelligence, told the Times that Iran orchestrated the plot and that Ethiopia was helped by Sweden in foiling the attacks.
Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service said a second group of plotters were going to attack UAE’s embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. A Sudanese official confirmed the report.
Iran saw UAE’s Ethiopian embassy as a soft target, easy pickings for a violent attack to show the Islamic Republic’s displeasure at the Gulf State’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.
It was also reportedly part of a larger Iranian plan to take revenge for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Soleimani and the allegedly Israeli killing of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Iran has denied the report. The New York Times cited a spokeswoman at Iran’s embassy in Ethiopia who said the reports, which broke earlier this month were “baseless” and part of “the Zionist regime’s malicious media.”
“Neither Ethiopia nor the Emirates said anything about Iranian interference in these issues,” the spokeswoman was quoted as saying.