Iran has categorically rejected the allegation contained in a New York Times report that it is planning to attack the UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa. The denial was issued by the Iranian Embassy in the Ethiopian capital.
"Neither Ethiopia nor the United Arab Emirates have spoken about Iran's involvement in these issues," said the Iranians. "These baseless accusations are fabricated by media outlets that are hostile to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and work as agents of the Zionist entity [Israel]."
Earlier this month, Ethiopia said that it had arrested fifteen members of an underground cell and seized weapons and explosives as part of a plot against the UAE Embassies in Addis Ababa and Khartoum. However, the New York Times claimed that Iran was behind the plot.
Quoting US and Israeli officials, the newspaper said that Iranian intelligence agencies activated a sleeper cell in Addis Ababa late last year to gather intelligence on the US and Israeli embassies in the Ethiopian capital. According to the NYT report, the operation was part of a wider plan by Iran to seek revenge for the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani with an American drone strike last year, and Israel's murder of Iran's chief nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November.