The announcement that came out of the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday was brief and dry; the background is anything but that.

“Israel commends the thwarting of the Iranian terrorist attack in Cyprus against Israeli targets,” the statement read.“The State of Israel is using a wide range of methods everywhere in order to defend Jews and Israelis and will continue to act in order to uproot Iranian terrorism wherever it rears its head, including in Iran, the main fomenter of terrorism in the world.”

The press release was issued following reports that the Mossad had helped the Cypriot authorities thwart a plot on the Mediterranean island, a popular tourist destination for Israelis and in recent years home to a growing Israeli business community.

Targets of Iran’s attempted attack

Earlier in the day, the Cypriot Phile news site reported that the targets of the planned attack were Jewish. The initial report said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps planned the attack, which was stopped in cooperation between Cyprus and Western partners, naming Israel and the US as those likely to have been involved.

According to various reports, seven members of the IRGC cell were arrested and one escaped. Equipment that was to be used in an attack was reportedly found in the terrorists’ safe house.

There was no mention of exactly when the planned attack was foiled but it is believed to have been last month.

This is not the first time that Jerusalem and Nicosia have worked together to stymie Iranian plots to attack Israelis. In 2021, they arrested a Russian-Azerbaijani hitman hired by the IRGC to kill Israeli businessmen in Cyprus.

The latest planned attack was not an isolated incident but one of a chain of similar recent Iranian efforts. In March, Mossad helped identify the connection between a local terror cell in Greece and Iran’s broader global terror operations.

In September 2022, the Israeli intelligence agency cooperated with its Turkish counterparts in a complex operation to counter an Iranian plan to kidnap several Israeli tourists and diplomats in Istanbul. In that case, some of the Israeli targets were whisked away to safety just moments before a hit team was set to strike.

Over the years, the Mossad has become exceptionally well respected in the intelligence world. It maintains good relations with its international counterparts, including, reportedly, in some countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties. This is because the threat of terrorism is not limited to Israeli and Jewish targets.

Attacks by Sunni jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State and their offshoots have taken place around the world: in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. The Mossad has helped prevent attacks on many occasions.

Similarly, it would be a mistake to see the plot that was frustrated in Cyprus as being a local matter, affecting only Israel, Cyprus and the Jewish community. The threats emanating from the Iranian regime – which funds and supports terrorist proxies including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis – spread far beyond the Middle East, and no country should consider itself safe from those threats.

Iran has already shown that it does not respect international borders or conventions. Hezbollah has operated in places as distant as Buenos Aires in Argentina and Burgas in Bulgaria, causing tremendous loss of life.Cyprus itself is a member of the EU. The fact that the IRGC violated its sovereignty should be another warning sign to the global community.

Earlier this month, Iran boasted that it had produced a hypersonic missile. Iranian drones have already been used in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

The international community must understand that a deal with Iran that fails to address its malign role around the world will be partial at best and destructive at worst; the lifting of sanctions will result in a flow of funds that will doubtless be used for pernicious purposes.

The bloodstained fingerprints of Iran’s IRGC have been found in terror attacks around the globe. Any deal that grants the Iranian regime an influx of money to further expand its global terrorist operations will only make the world more dangerous.

Source » jpost