Israel Accuses Iran of Plotting to Kill Israelis in Cyprus

Israel has accused Iran on Oct. 4 of plotting to kill Israelis in Cyprus after police on the Mediterranean island arrested an alleged hitman hired to carry out the attacks.

“This was an act of terror that was orchestrated by Iran against Israeli businesspeople living in Cyprus,” a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said.

The statement also denied media reports that said that the target of the attack was Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi.

A statement from Sagi’s company also accused Iran and denied the billionaire to be a would-be victim.

“This is a foiled Iranian terrorist incident. The target for the assassination is not Teddy Sagi but the Israelis in Cyprus. Unfortunately, it is so easy to publish incorrect information and damage a person’s name,” the statement from Sagi Group said, according to BBC News.

Several reports say that the alleged hitman plot was an attempt by Iran to retaliate against Israel’s targeting of Iranian scientists involved in their nuclear program.

Iran has denied Israel’s claims.

“This regime is always making such a baseless allegation against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the embassy of Iran in the Cypriot capital Nicosia said in an emailed statement to the Australian Associated Press.

According to reports, the suspect — who has not been charged — is an Azerbaijani using a Russian passport whom police arrested last Sept. 27 in Nicosia after crossing Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

Reports further said that the suspect had a gun with a silencer in his car when police arrested him.

“It is a sensitive case, which is why a remand request was held behind closed doors,” Cypriot Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou told reporters earlier on Oct. 4.

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