Iran: Dubai assassination was act of state terrorism by Israel
Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council yesterday denounced the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai as an act of terror, French news agency AFP reported.
Iran joined Hamas and Dubai police in blaming Israel for the killing. Dubai authorities have said they were nearly certain the Mossad was behind the death of al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room on January 20.
"The Dubai assassination is an act of state terrorism on the part of Israel," a spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, was quoted as saying in a report by state-run Press TV. "Israel's existence is itself based on terrorist activities," he said.
The French news agency also reported that GCC Secretary General Abdel Rahim al-Attiya urged European Union countries to cooperate with the UAE investigation "to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice and prevent the repeat of such a terrorist act." Attiya, however, avoided blaming Israel for the militant's death, instead describing it as the work of an "organized criminal group."
Earlier yesterday, the United Arab Emirates identified four more European passport-holders suspected in the Dubai killing of the Hamas commander, a source in the UAE familiar with the investigation said. "The UAE has identified two British suspects holding British travel documents, and as part of the ongoing investigation has shared the information with the British government," the source said.
Two more suspects holding Irish passports were also identified, the source added.
The new claim reportedly brings the tally of fraudulent British passports used to eight, and Irish identities used to five. The six previously announced British identities used by the killers were all traced to British citizens living in Israel, who say their identities were stolen.
Dubai authorities had already released the identities of 11 people who traveled on forged British, Irish, French and German passports to kill Mabhouh.
Opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni praised the assassination yesterday, the first such comment from a top Israeli official. Livni was speaking to the closing panel of the board of directors of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and said the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was good news, but did not say who was behind the killing.