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Iranian embassy repudiates claims about Tehran planning attacks on Israelis, Jewish targets in Athens

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a view of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Greece has categorically dismissed as false and baseless the claims that the country was linked to an alleged plot to carry out attacks on areas frequented by Israelis in central Athens.

“The fabricated report is obviously part of an amateurish scenario constructed by the [Israeli] regime to divert public opinion, and an attempt to cover up its (the regime's) internal developments,” the diplomatic mission said in a statement on Thursday.

Greek police arrested two Pakistani nationals on Tuesday who were allegedly planning attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in the  Southeastern European country.

Israel’s Mossad spy agency claimed in a statement that it had assisted in the investigation, and that the two were “part of a vast Iranian network, operated from Iran across many countries.”

The two men, 27 and 29 years old, are being held at police headquarters in central Athens, Greek authorities said. A third man, who is not in Greece, was wanted for questioning and charged in absentia.

A police source said the men had targeted a building that houses a Jewish restaurant and a prayer center.

The allegations come as Israeli protesters have held nearly three months of mass demonstrations to express and raise opposition to plans by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right cabinet to overhaul the regime’s judicial system.

Netanyahu announced on Monday evening that he was temporarily freezing the bill. He said he was determined to pass the judicial reform plan.

Israeli protesters, however, vowed that they would press ahead with demonstrations across the occupied territories "as long as the legislation continues and is not shelved."

The struggle over the plans illustrates the deep divide in Israeli society between supporters of the incumbent right-wing administration, who says the judicial changes are necessary, and the growing number of people opposed to Netanyahu’s plan, who argue that the moves will weaken the independence of the judiciary.

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