Cyprus Believes Iran Isn’t Behind Attempted Attack on Israelis, Report Says

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Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi in London in 2015.
Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi in London in 2015.Credit: Andy Paradise

Cypriot authorities do not believe Iran was not behind the recent alleged attack on Israeli businesspeople on the island despite Israeli accusations of Iranian involvement, Cypriot media reported on Wednesday.

According to a report on the In-Cyprus website, officials in Nicosia also doubt that Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi was the target of the attempted attack, but rather other officials at his gambling firm in Cyprus.

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On Monday, following the arrest of the suspect, who was in possession of a weapon, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office released a statement on behalf of defense officials characterizing the incident as an Iranian terrorist attack on Israeli businesspeople on the island. The Iranian embassy in Nicosia called the claim "baseless."

According to the Alphanews website, the would-be assassin was a 38-year-old Azerbaijani citizen who holds a Russian passport.

According to Cypriot media, the Azeri led the investigators to two locations in the town of Ayia Napa where he said that he had rented the two cars. Investigators found a gun with a silencer in one of the vehicles.

Prior reports indicated that the man had arrived in Cyprus from Russia about three weeks ago and that he had been under surveillance ever since.

Teddy Sagi’s business group issued a statement saying “that the incident was an Iranian terrorist attack that had been foiled,” clarifying that others Israelis working on the island, not Sagi, were the target. They added that it was regretful that misinformation regarding Sagi had been published.

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