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Iran: 'Talk of planned Istanbul attacks is Israel's conspiracy to ruin Turkiye relations'

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in Tehran, Iran on 5 October 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in Tehran, Iran on 5 October 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

The Iranian authorities have issued a statement branding the accusations of planned attacks targeting Israeli citizens in Turkiye as "ridiculous and baseless accusations".

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, announced in a statement, "these baseless accusations are ridiculous" and are part of a "pre-designed scenario to destroy relations between the two Muslim countries."

"It is expected from Turkiye not to remain silent in the face of these divisive allegations," he added.

Iran's response comes after the Israeli accusations against it and in the wake of the visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to Ankara on Thursday, where he thanked the Turkish authorities, stating: "The lives of Israeli citizens have been saved thanks to security and diplomatic cooperation between Israel and Turkiye."

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lior Haiat, tweeted: "Iranian terrorism on the soil of another sovereign state is an additional gross violation of every norm and accepted practice on the part of Iran."

On the same day, Turkish media reported arresting eight people, including Iranians, who were suspected of plotting attacks on Israelis.

READ: Iran demands US pay compensation for slain nuclear scientists

On 13 June, Lapid called on Israeli citizens not to go to Turkiye, along with a call for those already there to leave as soon as possible in anticipation of Iranian attacks.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a "shadow war" for years, but the tension between the two countries has escalated following a series of incidents that Tehran attributed to Israel.

On 22 May, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel, Sayyad Khodaei, was shot dead in front of his home in Tehran. Two other officers have died in the past month, one in what is believed to be an accident and the other in a shooting.

On Thursday, the Revolutionary Guards accused Israel of assassinating Khodaei, announcing the replacement of the head of its intelligence department, Hossein Taeb, who has held this position for 12 years.

Khatibzadeh stressed that Iran's response to these assassinations would be "severe" but "would not threaten the security of civilians abroad."

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