Iran says it foiled Israeli assassination plot against Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani

The head of the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit says a hit squad was arrested

Qassem Soleimani spoke about the role he and the Iranian regime played in Lebanon during the short-lived war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. AP Photo

Iran foiled an assassination plot against the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps force responsible for foreign operations, the IRGC’s head of intelligence said.

According to the semi-official Iranian news agency Tasnim, Hossein Taeb – who retained his post in a security shake-up at the IRGC this year – revealed the failed plot against Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani.

Addressing a gathering of IRGC commanders, Taeb said that “Hebrew-Arabic security services” were behind the plot.

Israel was so confident that the plot would succeed, he said, that one of its ministers “had announced that the Israeli regime was definitely going to assassinate” Suleimani.

The plot involved up to 500 kilograms of explosives to be used in an underground tunnel below a congregation hall where Suleimani was to be present.

Taeb said that an assassination squad of three had been arrested.

Suleimani, an architect of Iran’s regional belligerence, has been one of the most influential commanders of the IRGC.

On Tuesday, he gave a rare interview broadcast by the office of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In the interview, he provided an insight into his role in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.

He said he spent almost the entire duration of the 34-day conflict in Lebanon, which he entered from Syria alongside Imad Moughnieyh a Hezbollah commander who was assassinated in 2008.