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Iran claims to foil Israeli plot against its missile operations

The announcement follows Iranian officials saying they had dismantled “Zionist-linked” cells across the country and amid an escalating proxy war between Iran and Israel.
An Iranian long-range Ghadr missile displaying "Down with Israel" in Hebrew at a defense exhibition in Isfahan, February 8, 2023.

Iran blamed Israel for attempting another attack against its infrastructure on Thursday, this time accusing its foe of trying to sabotage its missile production operations.

The Intelligence Organization of the Iranian Defense Ministry said it had thwarted the “biggest” sabotage plot against its missile production and aerospace industries. The plot allegedly involved introducing defective parts into the production of advanced missiles and was directed by Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, Iranian state media reported.

Israel did not immediately comment, and has refrained in the past from discussing its military operations conducted abroad.

The news follows Iran’s Intelligence Ministry claiming on Wednesday that it had dismantled several "Zionist-linked terror bases” throughout the country, state media reported. Iran said the armed groups also had bases in Europe, but did not provide specific details.

Why it matters: Iran has regularly Israel of being behind sabotage efforts, attacks and other operations in the Islamic Republic. Iran also blamed Israel as well as the Islamic State for an attack on the Shiite Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz in August.

The two countries have been engaged on opposite sides of a proxy war for years throughout the region, including in Syria. Israel is also suspected of carrying out regular airstrikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria.

The conflict is particularly tense at the moment. Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an uptick in attacks against Israelis on the West Bank.

Israel and Iran have accused one another of carrying cyberattacks on their country's infrastructure in recent years. In 2021, Iran blamed Israel for a cyberattack against the Natanz nuclear facility. More recently, Tel Aviv–based ClearSky Cyber Security said in May that Iran was likely behind recent cyberattacks on Israeli shipping companies.

Know more: Iran has significant missile capabilities. Earlier this month, Tehran said it had developed the ability to produce supersonic cruise missiles. Iran also unveiled its first long-range, naval ballistic missile in July, Al-Monitor’s correspondent in Tehran reported at the time.

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