July 13, 2024

Iran’s alleged terror plot In Peru raises concerns of international security

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Peruvian officials have disclosed the apprehension of an Iranian individual suspected of orchestrating an assassination plot targeting an Israeli citizen. The arrested man, identified as Majid Azizi, is allegedly affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, underscoring Tehran’s involvement in terrorist activities beyond the Middle East.

In the wake of heightened tensions following recent events in the Israel-Gaza conflict, Iran has escalated its covert operations against American and Israeli interests, leveraging various armed groups it supports across the region. However, the attempted assassination plot in Peru represents a notable escalation in Iran’s brazenness and highlights a perceived lack of deterrence from the United States.

Azizi, 56, was detained just before his planned departure to Iran after reportedly establishing a terrorist cell aimed at targeting an Israeli national expected to attend the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) event in Peru. A third individual allegedly involved in the plot remains at large, according to statements from Peruvian authorities.

Peru’s police chief, Oscar Arriola, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “We had to act quickly because today [Majid Azizi] was set to return to Iran after forming a terrorist cell to wipe out an Israeli national” scheduled to participate in the APEC event. Azizi, who holds Peruvian citizenship through marriage, has made regular visits to the country over the years, with his latest trip reportedly aimed at orchestrating the assassination plan.

This incident marks the second known attempt by Iran to target Israelis in Peru, following a similar plot in 2014 involving a Hezbollah operative. Unlike the previous case, Azizi’s Iranian nationality and alleged affiliation with the Quds Force could eliminate any potential proxy cover, potentially exposing Tehran’s direct involvement in the plot.

Critics of the Biden administration have seized upon this latest development as evidence of a failed approach to deterring Iran’s malign activities. Senator Roger Wicker and others have criticized President Biden’s reluctance to confront Iran, arguing that limited countermeasures have proven ineffective in curbing Tehran’s support for terrorist groups across the Middle East.

General Michael Kurilla, Commander of the US Central Command, highlighted Iran’s continued support for groups like the Houthis and Hezbollah, suggesting that while deterrence has been achieved in certain areas, Iran remains undeterred in its broader objectives. The incident in Peru serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges posed by Iran’s destabilizing activities and the need for a robust response from the international community.

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