News & Opinion | July 13, 2018 12:46 pm

It Appears Iranian Assassin Teams Are Back in Action

The teams were used in the 1980s and '90s and it seems like they have returned.

iran
An Iranian flag seen amass against the cloudy blue sky on April 22, 2013 in Tehran, Iran. (Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
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Elements of Iran’s clandestine services are making increasingly bold and dangerous moves across Europe and Africa, reports The Daily Beast. This type of action has not been seen since the 1990s, security officials and counterterrorism experts say. The alleged surge in activity includes assassination plots, accusations of an attempted bombing, and reported arming of rebel groups outside of Iran’s borders. When taken all together, this information adds a new and worrying dimension to the tensions between Tehran and the United States over Iran’s nuclear program and other issues.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Iranian operatives across the world engaged in assassinations targeting opposition figures in the U.S., France, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. And in Argentina, Iran-backed groups were accused of orchestrating the deadly bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish community center, attacks that left a total of 115 people dead.

“Over the last decade, the IRGC has been sending its own operatives disguised as diplomats,” Ahmad Majidyar, a researcher of the Washington-based Middle East Institute, told The Daily Beast.  “These operatives are furthering the IRGC’s objectives, and they’re beyond the control of Zarif or others.”