NBC: Mossad training assassins of Iranian nuke scientists

A Tehran tow truck removes the remains of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan's bombed out car in January. (Fars)

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Mossad agents are training Iranian dissidents to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, NBC News reported on Thursday. NBC cited US officials as confirming the link between the Mossad and the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedin, but said the US was not directly involved in the attacks.

Iran has accused Israel and the US of being behind the assassinations of several of its nuclear scientists, as well as mysterious explosions that destroyed part of the infrastructure of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

In the most recent attack, nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was killed last month by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcycle hit team in Tehran. The Fars news agency reported that Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, headed a department at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

Soon after the car bombing, Foreign Policy quoting American intelligence sources as saying Mossad agents, posing as CIA agents, had recruited Pakistani terrorists to carry out attacks—including assassinations—against the Ahmadinejad regime.

Foreign Policy reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008 without the knowledge of the US, and that the then president George W. Bush was “infuriated” when he found out.

A similar claim was made by London’s Sunday Times, which reported that Mossad agents had orchestrated Ahmadi-Roshan’s assassination.

On Thursday, NBC News quoted US officials as saying that the administration of President Barack Obama knew that Israeli agents were training People’s Mujahedin members to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, but was not directly involved.

In Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry said that, as “long as we can’t see all the evidence being claimed by NBC, the Foreign Ministry won’t react to every gossip and report being published worldwide.”

The NBC report also quotes Muhammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying Israel’s ties with Iranian dissident groups are “very intricate and close.”

“[Israelis] are paying … the mujahedin,” Larijani said. “Some of their agents … (are) providing Israel with information. And they recruit and also manage logistical support,” Larijani said.