The New York Times reports on the Iranian drive to attack Israel and its Middle East allies, and Ethiopia’s recent arrest of several suspected cell members in a bomb plot against the United Arab Emirates embassy there.
Iran is seeking to avenge the killings of top Revolutionary Guards general Qassem Soleimani, killed in a January 2020 United States drone strike in Iraq, and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s nuclear program, killed in a November 2020 attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.
Iran has denied involvement, and Ethiopia has not accused it, but American and Israeli officials tell the paper the plot was definitely hatched by Tehran.
A US defense official ties that plot to another last year to assassinate the American ambassador to South Africa.
“Africa is a relatively easy place to operate, and Ethiopia is preoccupied with other issues,” former CIA officer Bruce Riedel tells the Times.
The report notes that Iran and Israel have over the years engaged in numerous activities against each other on African soil, where nations’ security is often not as robust as in stronger countries.