The Iran Project

Ya’alon: Tel Aviv behind assassinations of Iran nuclear scientists

Tehran, Aug 9, IRNA – Israel’s defense minister hinted on Friday that Tel Aviv’s intelligence services were behind the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.

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”.
According to the Tehran-based English newspaper, Iran Daily, Ya’alon said that “Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped.”
“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.”
Ya’alon told Der Spiegel that he believed historians would one day look back on the Iran nuclear agreement as an instance in which Western politicians sought to “kick the can down the road” by preferring to avoid dealing with the issue.
Israel and Republican senators who are under the influence of Zionist lobby are against the deal. US President Barack Obama has defended the international nuclear agreement with Iran and warned the US Congress that blocking the pact could spark a war in the Middle East.
Obama’s speech at a Washington DC university came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a campaign on Wednesday to mobilize Jewish Americans to urge the Republican-led Congress to thwart the historic agreement.
“It is a very good deal,” Obama said.
“Every nation in the world that has commented publicly with the exception of the Israeli government has expressed support,” Obama said.
In the interview with Der Spiegel, Ya’alon repeated his stance that the nuclear negotiations between the world powers and Iran were “a historic mistake.”
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,” 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.
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.


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