Iran to Recall Bulgaria Ambassador - Israeli Media
Iran's ambassador Gholamreza Bageri. Photo by 24 Hours daily
Israeli news outlets widely report the news that Iran is expected to recall its ambassador to leave Sofia, citing Bulgarian media.
The Bulgarian interior minister's investigative result implicating Hezbollah operatives in the July bombing of an Israeli tour bus prompted the Islamic Republic on Saturday to recall its ambassador to Sofia, the Jerusalem Post wrote on Sunday.
The Bulgarian media reported Iran's ambassador Gholamreza Bageri will leave Bulgaria's capital - Sofia - and the Iranian government will downgrade its diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.
Bageri stated at a Friday press conference that the Burgas attack has "nothing to do with Iran."
Bulgaria's interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, accused two members of the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah of carrying out a bomb attack in the seaside resort of Burgas, which resulted in the killing of five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian Muslim bus driver. The explosion caused injuries to over 30 Israeli tourists.
The Bulgarian press reported that Bageri commented that Bulgarian-Iranians relations have been friendly prior to the Burgas attack. US and Israeli intelligence officials said in July that the terror act was a joint Hezbollah-Iran operation.
Lebanon's prime minister Najib Mikati said he would he assist the Bulgarians in their investigation. Two of the suspects lived in Lebanon and it is unclear if arrest warrants were issued and if the two operatives are still in Lebanon.
The Jerusalem Post learned that Bulgaria has attempted multiple times over the years to compel the Lebanese authorities to extradite criminal suspects but Lebanese authorities have refused.
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