Tehran dismisses ‘ridiculous’ Israeli accusation of Iranian plot in Turkey

Iran on Friday rejected Israel’s accusation of an Iranian plot to harm Israelis in Istanbul, saying the claim aimed to damage Iranian-Turkish relations, Reuters reported.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a news conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday thanked Turkey for helping foil an Iranian plot to harm Israelis in Istanbul, noting that the effort was still underway, the agency said.

Lapid’s “ridiculous” allegation was a “pre-designed scenario to destroy relations between the two Muslim countries "Reuters sited Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying, referring to Turkey and Iran.

Israel last month issued an updated travel warning to Turkey, citing security concerns over a possible Iranian response to the assassination of a senior officer in the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Times of Israel reported on Monday.

“In recent weeks, the lives of Israeli citizens have been saved thanks to security and diplomatic cooperation between Israel and Turkey," Lipid said on Thursday, adding that the effort is ongoing. 

"Israel won’t sit idly by when there are attempts to harm its citizens in Israel and around the world,” the top Israeli diplomat said.

Turkish police have detained several people allegedly working for an Iranian intelligence cell that planned to assassinate or snatch Israeli tourists in Istanbul, Hürriyet Daily news reported on Thursday.

The report coincided with Lapid’s arrival in Ankara as part of ongoing efforts between the two countries to repair ties after a decade of tensions. 

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