Uruguay has expelled a senior Iranian diplomat over bomb scare

February 6, 2015 1:13 pm
“Investigations carried out
by Uruguay’s intelligence services after the discovery of the device
yielded information pointing to a possible involvement of someone at the
Iranian embassy,” Haaretz’s diplomatic correspondent wrote.

“The Uruguayan government turned to ’s government for information
and after consultations between the two, it was decided to expel one of
the senior diplomats at Iran’s embassy.”
A woman holds a rose and a sign as she stands outside the place where
the wake for late state prosecutor is being held in
January 28, 2015. (Reuters)

Uruguay has expelled a senior Iranian diplomat over last month’s
planting of a dummy bomb near Israel’s embassy in Montevideo, Israeli
daily Haaretz reported on Friday.

Citing an unidentified
“senior official in Jerusalem,” it said the diplomat was expelled two
weeks ago and although Uruguayan officials briefed Israel on the move
they made no public announcement.

“Investigations carried out
by Uruguay’s intelligence services after the discovery of the device
yielded information pointing to a possible involvement of someone at the
Iranian embassy,” Haaretz’s diplomatic correspondent wrote.

“The Uruguayan government turned to Iran’s government for information
and after consultations between the two, it was decided to expel one of
the senior diplomats at Iran’s embassy.”

Israel’s foreign ministry declined to confirm or deny the report.

“I am aware of it but I have nothing to add,” a spokesman told AFP.

On January 8, Montevideo bomb squad officers detonated what turned out
to be a fake bomb near the Israeli embassy, located in the World Trade
Centre office complex in the city.

The convincing-looking fake
— complete with fuse, detonator and other elements found in a real bomb
— was detected some 70 metres (230 feet) from the building by
bomb-sniffing dogs.

After destroying the device, bomb brigade
Lieutenant Colonel Alfredo Larramendi told reporters that it “never
posed any danger” but might have been part of a dress rehearsal for the
real thing.

“It might have been put there to see the response
time” of responders, or to size up the quality of the security of
Israel’s embassy,” Larramendi said.

Israel has long accused
Iran of sponsoring attacks against it around the world, using Lebanon’s
Shiite Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as proxies.

“Iran and Hezbollah have a well-established terrorist infrastructure in
South America, based on Shiite Lebanese migrants,” Haaretz wrote.

In 2013, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Iran of opening
secret intelligence stations in several South American countries to plan
and conduct terror attacks.

Nisman was found dead in his
apartment with a gunshot wound to the head last month on the eve of a
congressional hearing at which he was expected to accuse President
Cristina Kirchner of covering up Iranian involvement in a 1994 bombing
at a Buenos Aires Jewish centre.

The bombing killed 85 people and wounded 300, the deadliest such attack in ’s history.

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