Oct 3, 2018

France says Iran was behind foiled bomb attack

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

France is blaming Iran's ministry of intelligence for a foiled bombing attack earlier this year that was to target an opposition group's meeting in Paris, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The strong rebuke from France is significant because it illustrates France's willingness to "punish Iran for hostile actions," while continuing to stand by the 2015 nuclear deal, the Times notes.

The details: Four people were arrested in connection with the plot. It was to target a Paris rally by Mujahedeen el Khalq (MEK) — an active opposition group, hated by the Iranian establishment and considered a terror group in several countries, but praised by some conservative U.S. politicians like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. Two Iranians believed to have been involved — former diplomat Assadollah Asadiand and suspected former senior Iranian intelligence official Saeid Hashemi — have had their assets frozen.

  • France's foreign affairs, economic, and interior ministries said in a joint statement, per the Guardian: "This extremely serious attack that was to take place on our territory cannot go without a response."
  • Iran's foreign ministry "forcefully" denied the allegations, calling it a conspiracy to "sabotage Iran's ancient and long-standing relations with France and other significant European countries," the Guardian reports.

Go deeper

Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.