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08 August 2015

Israel behind assassinations of Iran nuclear scientists, Ya'alon hints

Israel's defense minister hinted on Friday that the Jewish state's intelligence services were behind the rash of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.

TERRORIST

In an interview with the German-language Der Spiegel, Moshe Ya'alon said that he bore no responsibility "for the life expectancy of Iranian scientists."

"Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped,” Ya’alon said. “We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself."

He told Der Spiegel that the only effective strategy against Iran would be to leave the regime with a choice - either it acquires nuclear weapons or it is permitted to survive.

Earlier this year, a senior Iranian security official said that the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps thwarted a Mossad assassination attempt against one of its nuclear scientists.

“In the last two years, the Zionist enemy was trying hard to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist, but the timely presence of the IRGC security forces thwarted the terrorist operation,” Col. Ya’qoub Baqeri, the deputy chief liaison officer of the Flight Guards Corps, told the country’s Fars News Agency.


The Revolutionary Guards is “duty-bound to protect the lives of the country’s nuclear scientists,” said Baqeri.

According to a report by CBS News last year, the Obama administration pressured Israel to stop carrying out assassinations inside Iran against the country’s nuclear scientists.

Israel has never admitted to carrying out such killings. At least five scientists have been killed, mostly by car bombs. Mossad officials concluded that the assassination campaign became too dangerous for its spies, said the report. This came amidst Washington’s attempt to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.