U.S. and Middle Eastern officials now see a plot to kill American embassy officials in Azerbaijan as part of a broader campaign by Iran-linked operatives targeting foreign diplomats in at least seven countries over a span of 13 months, The Washington Post
reported Monday, May 28. The targets have included two Saudi officials, a half-dozen Israelis and — in the Azerbaijan case — several Americans. In recent weeks, investigators working in four countries have amassed new evidence tying the disparate assassination attempts to one another and linking all of them to either Iran-backed Hizballah militants or operatives based inside Iran. Furthermore, the Azerbaijan plot fits a pattern seen in numerous other recent attempts linked to Iran. The foiled assassination of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington involved a similar plan to hire criminal gangs to kill a senior diplomat in a public setting.