Israel accuses Iran of plotting attacks in Kenya
Posted Tuesday, July 3 2012 at 23:34
Two Iranians arrested in Nairobi a fortnight ago were part of a Tehran-sponsored terror network that planned attacks on Israeli interests, Israel has claimed.
Other attacks on Israeli targets had been planned and executed in Azerbaijan, Thailand, Georgia and India, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
He accused Iran of also being behind the foiled assassination attempt on the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the United States.
The Israeli claims are likely to test relations between Kenya and Iran. The two countries have moved to deepen bilateral ties in recent months.
Only last month, they signed a multi-billion-shilling deal under which Iran will supply Kenya with cheap oil.
Under the agreement, Kenya will import four million tonnes of Iranian crude oil annually, Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike said on Monday.
Mr Nyoike refused to comment on how the deal sits with US and European Union sanctions against Iranian oil exports.
There are reports that the increasing ties between Nairobi and Tehran were causing jitters in the US and Europe, which have slapped sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear weapons programme and alleged sponsorship of terrorism.
“Iranian terrorism knows no borders,” the Israeli leader said in a statement from his Jerusalem office.
“The international community must fight against this major player in the world of terrorism.
“After Iran sent its agents to murder the Saudi ambassador on US soil, the country has now engaged in attacks in Azerbaijan, Bangkok, in Tbilisi, in New Delhi, and now we have just discovered a plot for a terrorist attack in Africa,” said Mr Netanyahu.
The attacks in Bangkok, Tbilisi and New Delhi targeted Israeli diplomats. In Nairobi on Tuesday, police said the two Iranians — Mr Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Mr Sayed Mansour Mousav — had given them enough information to scuttle their terrorist plans.
The Iranians led police to a hideout in Mombasa where they seized 15kg of RDX, an explosive material.
The RDX was in two grey rucksacks, neatly wrapped in blue polythene bags. It was recovered near the Mombasa Golf Club.
Attempts to get a comment from the Iranian embassy in Nairobi were unsuccessful.
The Iranians denied two counts of preparing to commit a felony and being in possession of RDX, when they appeared before Nairobi senior principal magistrate PC Biwott.
“We ask this court to release us on bond because we are innocent. Police took away our money and we have been tortured,” they told the court.
Coast provincial police boss Aggrey Adoli said the two had given them information to help in dismantling the terror network in the country.