Iranian intelligence officials have broken up “the biggest terrorist plot” ever planned to target Tehran and other provinces in the Islamic Republic, the country’s state TV reported yesterday.
An anchor on state TV read off a statement attributing the information to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.
Officials could not be immediately reached for comment to elaborate.
Several suspects have been arrested and are under interrogation over the plot after agents seized ammunition and bombs, state TV said.
The semi-official Fars and ISNA news agencies quoted Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani as saying the attack was timed to hit during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, citing the ministry, said the attack was supposed to come on the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Mohammed’s wife Khadija, which was commemorated in small ceremonies across Iran on Thursday last week.
The report did not identify those arrested, although it called them takfiris, a derogatory term in both Arabic and Farsi referring to Muslims who accuse others of being “nonbelievers.”
Iranian authorities often refer to followers of the Sunni militant Islamic State group as takfiris, although it is not clear if this case involved the extremist group that holds territory in Iraq and Syria.
Shiite power Iran has been helping both the Syrian and the Iraqi governments in their battles against the Islamic State. It has warned of possible militant attacks targeting the country, which largely has not seen such attacks since the immediate aftermath of its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
However, IRNA called those involved in the plot Wahhabi takfiris.
Wahhabism is an ultraconservative school of Islam practiced predominantly in Saudi Arabia.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have frayed following the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in January and subsequent attacks by protesters on Saudi Arabian diplomatic posts in Iran.
The kingdom cut diplomatic relations with Tehran following those attacks.
Iran recently announced it would not be sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj, as it said the kingdom did not meet Iran’s requests for better security for Iranian pilgrims.
The hajj is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their lifetime.
Last Month, Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi announced that 20 “terrorist groups” that planned to detonate bombs and cause insecurity across the country had been dismantled.
It was unclear whether that included the plot announced by state TV yesterday.
Iran faces threats from several militant groups. Last week, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps battled armed members of an insurgent Kurdish group in the country’s West Azerbaijan Province near its border with Iraq and Turkey.
Both sides gave conflicting death tolls from the fighting, as the guard said its forces killed 12 insurgents, while three of its own died.
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan said Kurds killed more than 12 guard members, including a colonel.
PASTA PUNCHLINE: Billy McLean’s spoof poking fun at misinformation on the coronavirus was meant for friends, but is being eaten up by frazzled Britons It started off as an ad-libbed joke for some friends in a soccer banter group and ended up being heard by vast numbers of Britons within hours. However, the man responsible for a joke WhatsApp audio clip that claimed the UK Ministry of Defence was about to requisition Wembley Stadium to cook the world’s biggest lasagna has said his viral success also shows the risks of believing everything that gets sent to you on the messaging service. Billy McLean, a 29-year-old Londoner who works in software sales, came forward to the Guardian to identify himself as the creator of the much-shared clip
‘AN HONORABLE TASK’: The brigade to Italy is the sixth contingent of doctors the nation has sent abroad to aid governments contending with the COVID-19 pandemic Cuba has dispatched doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help fight COVID-19 at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy, it said. The Caribbean nation has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution, with doctors on the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s. Yet with the 52-strong brigade, this is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of
There are growing concerns for the health of Rokia Traore, a Malian singer who has been on hunger strike at the Fleury-Merogis Prison near Paris since she was arrested on March 10 on allegations of kidnapping her daughter in a child custody dispute. “I am very worried,” said Kenneth Feliho, her lawyer. “She is only drinking. She has not been eating for over a week and her immune system is weak.” Among those calling for the musician’ release are African stars including Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo. Damon Albarn, who performed with her in the group Africa Express, wrote: “We demand,
FATAL IDEA: The nation’s drugs regulator is curbing use of hydroxychloroquine, which Donald Trump has promoted for its alleged potential to treat COVID-19 Australia’s drug regulator has been forced to restrict powers to prescribe a drug undergoing clinical trials to treat COVID-19, because doctors have been inappropriately prescribing it to themselves and their family members, despite potentially deadly side effects. The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the similar compound chloroquine are currently used mostly for patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but stocks in Australia have been diminished thanks to global publicity — including from US President Donald Trump — about the potential of the drug to treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have potentially severe and even deadly side effects if used inappropriately, including