An Iranian official at the Islamic Republic’s embassy was indeed a suspect in a plan to bomb Israel’s embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, the country’s government confirmed with Israeli media outlet Haaretz. However, he fled the country before the diplomat was officially declared persona non grata, so the bomber was never technically expelled from Uruguay.
Ahmed Sabatgold, 32, who was suspected of attempting the bombing, was a “political consultant” for the Iranian embassy, according to the report. Israeli officials believe he was tasked to attempt the bombing in order to either harm Israeli diplomatic personnel or test the embassy’s security preparedness. Uruguay’s El Observador reported that Sabatgold was publicly known as a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite.
During his stay in Uruguay, the Iranian agent had reportedly been spending time influence Muslims who were part of the country’s Unidad Popular political party.
Jerusalem officials said that an unknown person had placed an empty suitcase near Israel’s old embassy some months prior to the attempted bombing. Israeli officials believed that the previous incident was a dry run seeking to locate potential security vulnerabilities. Haaretz reports that a video surfaced of the incident, which showed an unidentified man coming out of a diplomatic car belong to Iran. The Uruguayan Foreign Minister reportedly personally told the Iranian ambassador that his country would have no tolerance for another incident.
Iranian state-media outlet Press TV has alleged that Israel is to blame for the bombing. The state-run outlet claimed that Israel ordered the Montevideo bombing against its own embassy “in order to damage Iran’s image in the host countries.” The Press TV report said that the report “aimed at creating Iranophobia and tarnishing the Islamic Republic’s international image.”
The Iranian regime is heavily involved in South America with the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Hezbollah proxy terror group. The country has inked defense and trade partnerships with Bolivia and Venezuela. Iran is also believed to be responsible for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina. The Argentina-Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) bombing took place in Buenos Aires, which is located only 100 miles from Montevideo. The attack resulted in the deaths of 85 along with hundreds more wounded.