‘We killed Iranian scientist’ claims Israel intel source
August 3, 2011 4 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A source in Israeli intelligence has told a quality German newsmagazine that Israel was behind the recent killing of an Iranian physicist in Tehran. The 35-year-old physicist, Darioush Rezaei, was shot twice in the throat on July 23, by two men on a motorcycle, as he and his wife were picking up their four-year-old daughter from kindergarten. Iranian authorities dismissed early reports that Rezaei was a nuclear academic, saying that there had been “some confusion” about the dead man’s identity, and that Rezaei was simply studying for a masters’ degree in electronics. It later became clear, however, that Rezaei’s electronics expertise was in the use of high-voltage switching systems for triggering nuclear warheads explosions. Rezaei was the fourth Iranian physicist or nuclear expert to be assassinated since 2007, after Ardeshire Hassanpour, Masoud Ali Mohammadi and Majid Shahriari. Another nuclear scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi, who was injured in a separate bomb attack on the same day Dr Shahriari was killed, now heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. There is little doubt in intelligence circles that the attacks on the Iranian researchers are part of a wider Western and Israeli covert action program that includes —apart from assassinations— sabotage and cyberwarfare. Now an article in German quality newsmagazine Der Spiegel quotes an unnamed “Israeli intelligence source” as saying that Rezaei’s July 23 assassination “was the first serious action taken by the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo”. In January of 2011, Pardo, a former special forces officer in the Israel Defense Forces, replaced Meir Dagan as Director of Israel’s primary external intelligence agency. The magazine cites other “Israeli intelligence sources” in connecting Rezaei’s assassination to the wider covert action program against Iran’s nuclear project. Spiegel’s source also confirmed reports from Israel and the United States that Israel’s leadership may be close to authorizing a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also made the valid point, however, that the Mossad is resisting this, because military action against Iran’s nuclear project would place the Israeli military at the helm of the program, a position currently held by the Mossad itself.