Israel conspired with Iranian opposition figures in a plot to assassinate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during last month's election campaign, Iran's intelligence minister said on Friday.
According to AFP, Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie told state media in Iran that Israeli officials had met members of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, an exiled opposition group, twice to plan Ahmadinejad's assassination.
"The Zionist regime had met with the [PMOI] on the sidelines of [a meeting in[ Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt and in Paris to assassinate Mr. Ahmadinejad," Ejeie said.
The intelligence minister said the group agreed to cooperate on condition that it be removed from a U.S. "terror black list," according to AFP.
"The enemies even approached the rebels in east of the country to achieve this aim," said Ejeie, who was referring to armed Sunni dissidents.
Last year, former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff and current minister for strategic affairs, Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon, was quoted as saying by an Australian newspaper that the West must consider all options necessary to stop Tehran's nuclear program, including assassinating Ahmadinejad.
An associate of Ya'alon said, however, that the fomer IDF chief's comments on the necessity of considering assassination were taken out of context.
The associate noted in a statement that Ya'alon confirms he said it is possible to defeat the Iranian regime through economic, political, diplomatic means, and that military means are to be used as a last resort.In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Ya'alon said: "We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately. There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped."
When asked whether "all options" included a military deposition of Ahmadinejad and the rest of Iran's current leadership, Ya'alon told The Herald: "We have to consider killing him. All options must be considered."
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