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New Report Reveals Iran Using Hired Assassins to Target Dissidents in U.S. and Abroad

A cybersecurity expert stands in front of a map of Iran as he speaks to journalists about the techniques of Iranian hacking, on September 20, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP/Kamran Jebreili)
A cybersecurity expert stands in front of a map of Iran as he speaks to journalists about the techniques of Iranian hacking, on September 20, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP/Kamran Jebreili)

A new report revealed that the Islamic Republic of Iran is increasing its efforts to target critics of the regime living abroad, planning attacks on Israeli, European and American citizens, and hiring local proxies to conduct assassinations, according to The Washington Post. The latest development comes as the Islamic Republic has accused foreign governments and officials of supporting ongoing protests in Iran.

According to the Post, the Jewish community, and individuals with affiliations to Israel are being targeted by the regime, along with dissidents, media outlets, and local journalists critical of the Islamic Republic. 

The report from the newspaper outlet revealed details of a failed plan by the Islamic Republic's Shiite terrorist proxy group, Hezbollah, to assassinate an Israeli national in Bogota, Colombia, saying that the killers were recruited in a Dubai prison.

The outlet revealed that Rahmat Asadi, an operative for the intelligence arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was jailed in the United Arab Emirates for the kidnapping and death of an Iranian British businessman. While in prison, Asadi is alleged to have met two Colombian brothers involved in international jewelry theft and were trained to conduct "lethal operations" and assigned them to kill Americans in Israelis after they were free in 2021.

However, officials note that the brothers did not go through with the operations, but the whole event showed that the regime in Tehran had built a global network to conduct such attacks. 

Reports from Colombia said the failed assassination attempt was uncovered by the Israeli intelligence body Mossad. 

The Post also noted a plot to kill French Jewish journalist Bernard Henri Levy in Paris for speaking out against the Ayatollahs, using an Iranian drug dealer. Levy has been a target for the IRGC'S Quds Force, which hired the drug dealer for $150,000.

The attempts by the Islamic Republic of Iran to assassinate its opponents are nothing new and have continued to increase over the past months. 

After the death of IRGC-Quds force General Qasem Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed that those responsible for his death would face serious consequences. 

In early January, the website of Iran Supreme Leader highlighted an animated video that showed a robot calling in a drone strike to assassinate former President Donald Trump.

For the past months, the Iranian regime has engaged in operations to kidnap and attack former Trump administration officials ranging from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and United States Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook. 

In early August, a man armed with an AK-47 rifle was arrested outside the New York home of Iranian American journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad, a top target of the Islamic government.

While many of these attempts have failed, experts believe that multiple attempts to conduct the killings mean they will eventually succeed, potentially sparking a wider and more direct conflict with Tehran. 

Last month, Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 said that Iran wants to kidnap or kill UK-based individuals it deems "enemies of the regime," with at least 10 such plots uncovered this year.

With protests ongoing in Iran and security forces engaging in brutal crackdowns on protesters, the ayatollahs have accused American and Israeli officials of inciting the revolution, executing Iranian citizens accused of spying for the regime's two hated enemies. 

Currently, threats have escalated against European and American Iranian human rights activists and journalists. 

A report by German authorities on Wednesday found that the IRGC was behind a string of recent attacks on Jewish synagogues.

Officials noted that the directives to conduct killing and kidnappings came from the top levels of the Islamic regime.

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