ERBIL — Turkish intelligence forces were able to foil an attempt by an Iranian cell to assassinate an Israeli businessman in Istanbul, a report said on Friday.
The Iranian cell had tracked Yair Geller, the head of CNC İleri Teknoloji, a metal machinery supplier for the automotive, aerospace and medical industries based in Istanbul. The cell took photos of him in his home, according to Turkish media reports.
Turkish intelligence forces were aware of the tracking movements conducted by the Iranian cell and informed Israeli counterpart once the activity neared operational status, as reported by Jerusalem Post.
"I am an Israeli businessman in Turkey with an engineering research and development company. I was informed that the Iranians are tracking and are attempting to assassinate me," Geller told KAN in the first response to Israeli media on the story.
The alleged assassination attempt is considered to be in response to the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in 2020, which Iran has attributed to Israel. However, it was not clear what Geller's connection is.
The Turkish media said that the Iranian cell was run by Yassin Tahermkandi, 53, an Iran-based intelligence officer, and Saleh Mushtag Bhighus, 44, his Turkish counterpart. Bhighus was among the eight arrested.