Mossad has claimed responsibility for tipping off Danish authorities after they thwarted an alleged terror plot by Tehran to assassinate three opposition figures living in Denmark, according to a senior Israeli intelligence official quoted in the Times of Israel.
This comes days after it was revealed this week that a Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on Oct. 21 in connection with the plot and extradited to Denmark. The head of Danish intelligence announced on Tuesday that the assassination was meant to target the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) which seeks a separate state for ethnic Arabs in Iran’s oil-producing southwestern province of Khuzestan.
Israeli officials now say European authorities were tipped off by its elite foreign intelligence service, according to the Times of Israel report:
The information about Israel’s involvement in the thwarting of the plot was first released to a small number of journalists by a “senior official,” but was later confirmed by others.
According to Israel, the Mossad gave Denmark the information about the Iranian plot to kill three Iranians suspected of belonging to the anti-regime Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz.
The suspect in custody has denied the charges, which have also been slammed by Tehran as a "false flag attempt" to frame Iran and further tarnish its reputation and global standing.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued the following statement via Twitter on Wednesday: “Mossad’s perverse & stubborn planting of false flags (more on this later) only strengthens our resolve to engage constructively with the world,” he wrote.
Though neither Denmark nor Sweden where the suspect was apprehended would confirm whether they had assistance from Mossad, Danish intelligence chief Finn Borch Andersen said at a press conference, "We are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish soil," and said further, "Obviously, we can’t and won’t accept that."
However, Iranian FM Zarif followed his tweet alleging a Mossad orchestrated false flag with a chronology of events he said suggests a "Mossad program to kill the JCPOA":
Incredible series of coincidences. Or, a simple chronology of a MOSSAD program to kill the JCPOA? pic.twitter.com/Xg5e0C5DAA— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 1, 2018
During another press conference by European authorities involving Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, he said that Denmark believes the Iranian government was behind the attempted attack, and that the Danish ambassador has been recalled from Iran. Samuelsen also said that Denmark will push for EU-wide sanctions against Iran in light of the attempted assassination.
During the conference, Samuelsen also said evidence presented to him by Danish intelligence leaves "no doubt" Iran's government was behind the plan, and said that behavior by Iranian intelligence was not restricted to Denmark, causing alarm across several European nations. At the same time, Samuelsen said that Denmark doesn’t want the EU to withdraw from nuclear deal, a pact which is "in our best interests" and yet it wasn't clear how it could co-exist with a new round of EU sanctions against Tehran.
Meanwhile these latest accusations of Iranian assassination plots in Europe follow prior revelations of a separate suspected Iranian plot to target a Paris rally by an opposition group in June, which led to the arrest of a number of Iranians in Europe over the summer.
President Trump had referenced the summer incident and others to bolster his case that European countries should follow Washington's lead in pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions, most of which are set to kick back into effect next week, on November 5th.