Iranian who allegedly confessed to plotting hit on Israeli says coerced

An Iranian has denied reports he was involved in an attempted assassination of an Israeli diplomat in Turkey and two others, saying he was tortured and coerced into making a false confession.

Earlier this month, several Hebrew media reported that Israel’s Mossad spy agency had detained and interrogated Mansour Rasouli, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, on Iranian territory.

On Saturday, new video footage emerged allegedly showing Rasouli confessing during interrogation at his home in Iran that he had been sent to target the Israeli diplomat working at the consulate in Istanbul, as well as a US general stationed in Germany and a journalist in France.

Channel 13 said the video came from Mossad itself, although it did not cite a source for that claim.

Meanwhile, video released by London-based Iran International, an Iranian opposition outlet, showed Rasouli denying the confession was true, saying it had been extracted from him by kidnappers.

“Criminals abducted me…they put a bag over my head and took me to an unknown location,” he said in the video.

“They told me they were going to kill me and my family and tortured me severely. They told me that I had to say everything they told me – that I was an emissary of the Revolutionary Guards and that I had been sent to kill people in Europe and Turkey.

“I deny everything of course.”

Last week, an audio recording purporting to be that of Rasouli, 52, was released by Israeli television channels, along with his picture. “We are going to assassinate these three for the Islamic Republic. They insisted on it being done,” a man’s voice was heard in the recording.

Television reports provided no source for the audio recording.

Channel 12 added, without citing a source, that the Shin Bet security agency – which usually operates only in Israel and the Palestinian territories – also took part in the detention in Iran.

Rasouli was released after questioning, according to reports. “I made a mistake, from now on I won’t budge on this, I swear,” he added.

In February, it was reported that the Mossad had helped foil 12 plots to carry out terror attacks against Israelis in Turkey over the past two years, most plots linked to the Islamic State jihadist group.

Last year, Turkish intelligence reportedly foiled an Iranian plan to assassinate a Turkish-Israeli businessman who lives in Istanbul and owns an engineering company specializing in aerospace technology.

The planned hit was meant to be retaliation for the 2020 killing of Iranian nuclear chief Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, widely attributed to the Mossad, according to reports, as well as a way to hamper warming relations between Ankara and Jerusalem.

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