Iran Arrests ‘Assassination Cell’ Linked to Israel

Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib (left) and head of the judiciary's security department Ali Abdollahi. (Mizan)
Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib (left) and head of the judiciary's security department Ali Abdollahi. (Mizan)
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Iran Arrests ‘Assassination Cell’ Linked to Israel

Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib (left) and head of the judiciary's security department Ali Abdollahi. (Mizan)
Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib (left) and head of the judiciary's security department Ali Abdollahi. (Mizan)

Iranian security forces arrested a terrorist cell linked to Israel in the northwestern region of the country, said an official at the security department in the Iranian judiciary.

Fourteen members of the cell were arrested in West Azerbaijan province, said head of the security department Ali Abdollahi, according to the Mizan agency that is affiliated with the judiciary.

Abdollahi revealed that the terrorist cell had plotted to assassinate several figures.

Last week, the intelligence ministry said it had arrested members of an "espionage" network on charges of collaborating with a foreign intelligence agency to obtain information about Iranians traveling abroad.

Tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv escalated after Iran made progress in its program to enrich uranium by 60 percent, at a rate close to weapons-grade.

Iran accused Israel of carrying out assassinations of scientists and officials in its nuclear program, as well as targeting its atomic facilities.

On May 21, Iranian Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib said the security services arrested a "terrorist" group linked to Israel on the western border with Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to cooperate.

Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) ground forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour threatened to resume bombing Iraqi Kurdistan if Baghdad did not implement a security agreement both countries signed in March.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary Ali Akbar Ahmadian received Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji in Tehran.

Ahmadian called for the urgent need to activate the agreement.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.