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Kidnap alert heightens Iran-Israel shadow war fears

The man set to become Israel's interim prime minister next week has made an urgent trip to Turkey amid fears of an attack on Israeli tourists there by Iranian agents - as the long-running shadow war between the bitter foes becomes more open.

For years, both sides have been engaged in clandestine actions against each other. Israel sees Iran, which calls for its elimination, as its biggest threat; Iran sees Israel as an enemy siding with the United States and a bulwark against its growth as a regional power.

Events took a particularly dramatic turn in 2020, when Iran's leaders blamed Israel for the killing of its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was shot dead while driving a car on a road outside Tehran, allegedly with a remote-controlled machine gun.

Israel neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the death of Fakhrizadeh, who was the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to have been assassinated since 2007. The New York Times however ran a detailed report describing how Israel carried it out.


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