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Assassination plots linked to Iran

Iranian-linked operatives have plotted to kill foreign diplomats in at least seven countries, including several Americans in Azerbaijan, over a span of 13 months, the Washington Post reported Sunday, citing unnamed U.S. and Middle Eastern officials.

The newspaper said the targets have also included two Saudi officials and a half-dozen Israelis.

In recent weeks, investigators working in four countries have amassed evidence tying the disparate assassination attempts to one another and linking all of them to either Iran-backed Hezbollah militants or operatives based inside Iran, the newspaper said.

It said a six-page document last month summarizing the evidence cited phone records, forensic tests, coordinated travel arrangements and cellphone SIM cards purchased in Iran and used by several of the would-be assailants.

The newspaper reported that the officials said the attempts halted abruptly in early spring, at a time when Iran began to shift its tone after weeks of bellicose anti-Western rhetoric and threats to shut down vital shipping lanes. In March, Iranian officials formally accepted a proposal to resume negotiations with six world powers on proposals to curb its nuclear program.

Assassination plots linked to Iran 05/27/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012 10:33pm]
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