Israel accuses Iran of Cyprus attack plot after suspect is arrested

Jerusalem / Nicosia — Israel accused Iran of organizing an attempt to attack Israeli in Cyprus after police on a Mediterranean island said it had arrested an armed individual on Monday. Iran quickly denied the accusation.

“This was an Iranian terrorist attack on an Israeli businessman living in Cyprus,” Naftali Bennett spokesman Matane Sidi said in a statement.

Asked for comment, the Iranian embassy in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, told Israel in an email statement that “this administration has always made such unfounded claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Mentioned and stated.

Earlier on Monday, Cyprus police chief Stelios Papatheodorou told reporters that “a person with a pistol and cartridge was arrested.”

“This is a delicate case, so the request for a remand was made in a closed room,” added Papatheodorou.

Cyprus media quoted police sources as saying that an unindicted suspect was arrested on September 27 in the capital, Nicosia, shortly after driving from a Turkish-controlled north-south checkpoint. I reported. An ethnically divided island.

A silencer was also found in his car, the report said. He was widely reported as an Azerbaijani with a Russian passport aged 38 or 39.

The suspect was taken to the Magistrates’ Court, which approved an eight-day remand request from police last week. By law, police must petition the court for an extension of his remand.

Israel appeared to imply that its intelligence agency had contributed to the failure of Cyprus’ suspicious attack program.

“There are security threats. As you can see, Simbet, Mossad, and all security forces know how to deal with them,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told reporters when asked about the incident. “The fact is that we are there. We care about the problem.”

Cyprus media also reported that he had been on the island for about 20 days before the suspect was arrested and rented two cars in a row. They said he used an electric scooter to frequently travel to the north of the island via a pedestrian crossing.

In his statement, Sidi denied local media coverage on Sunday, stating that the arrest prevented an attempted criminal assassination of Israeli influential Teddy Sagi.

Dan Williams and Michele Cambus