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Iran points finger at Qatar in ‘sabotage network’

Iran says Qatari intelligence recruited cell to assassinate Sunnis and Shiites

Gulf News

Dubai: The Iranian foreign ministry has summoned the Qatari charge d’affaires in Tehran to protest against alleged involvement by Doha in a sabotage network, an Iranian semi-official news agency has said.

“The foreign ministry on Sunday summoned the charge d’affaires of the Qatari embassy in Tehran in the absence of the Qatari ambassador,” Fars news agency said on Tuesday. “The ministry conveyed to the Qatari diplomat its strong protest against the Qatari involvement in the acts by a sabotage network busted by the Iranian security ministry,” the report said.

On Sunday, the ministry said that it had discovered a 12-member ring plotting to carry out acts of sabotage on presidential elections day on June 14.

“The ring leader had been recruited by the intelligence services of an Arab state that cannot measure up with mighty and independent Iran and that is subservient to the Zionist entity,” the ministry said without naming the Arab country.

An Iranian parliamentarian later said that the statement referred to Qatar.

However, the statements did not specify the nationalities of the alleged ring members or say when they were arrested.

Online reports alleged that the network had plans to assassinate senior Sunni and Shiite religious figures to cause sedition between the two sects. Nuclear scientists and military figures were also on the hit list, the reports that could not be verified claimed.

Once among the most spectacular in the Gulf, relations between Doha and Tehran have plummeted, mainly after irreconcilable divergences over the armed conflict in Syria.

Iran backs President Bashar Al Assad and his regime while Qatar has been a steady supporter of the anti-regime forces.

The two countries are scheduled to play on Tuesday evening in Doha a crucial football match that both teams need to win to maintain hope of reaching the World Cup finals to be hosted next summer by Brazil.