Time: Mossad behind Iran hit?


The recent assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist bears the fingerprint of a “custom-made” operation by Israel's spy agency, Mossad, a Time report says.

Majid Shahriari, a top scientist and university professor involved in Iran's nuclear program, was killed on Monday when his vehicle exploded. A second terror attack in Tehran injured another scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi, and his wife.

A Western intelligence expert “with knowledge of the operation,” told the magazine on Thursday that the assassination carried the “signature” of Mossad.

Noting the agency's ample experience with carrying out assassinations on foreign soil, the expert said the agents would have studied the target for months to familiarize themselves with his routines.

The agents would have been on their way to exit the country before detonating the remote-controlled explosives, the unnamed source said.

Iran's response

Iran blames Israel and Western powers for the terrorist attacks on its nuclear scientists. Iranian officials have also condemned UN Resolution 1747 -- adopted by the United Nations Security Council in March 2007 against the Islamic Republic -- as a “hit list” for citing Abbasi's name as a "nuclear scientist."

“Political and security analysts are wondering about the connection between these inhumane incidents and the recent remarks of the head of the British intelligence agency (MI6)…," A statement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office said on Monday

On October 28 John Sawers accused Iran of pursuing clandestine nuclear activities and said “intelligence operations” were crucial to stop Tehran's nuclear program.

According to Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Sajedinia, a bomb was attached to Dr. Shahriari's car with a magnet moments before the blast.

Mossad fingerprint

It is not the first time the Israeli spy agency has come under fire over allegations of carrying out assassinations abroad.

Earlier this year, Mossad was embroiled in a scandal that threatened to forever undermine Tel Avivi's ties with Europe.

In February, Dubai's police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan, urged the Interpol to issue a “red notice” for the arrest of Mossad head Meir Dagan.

The calls came after police authorities in the emirate said that there was a "99 percent" chance that Israel's Mossad spy agency was behind the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the city-state a month earlier.

The European Union was shocked to discover that the 11-member hit team that killed the Hamas official had used forged passports from EU member states.

EU foreign ministers in Brussels "strongly condemned" the use of forged passports in the assassination, but did not specifically name Mossad in their statement.

Israel refused to comment on the allegations but did not deny involvement.

"There is no proof Israel is involved in this affair, and if somebody had presented any proof, aside from press stories, we would have reacted," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement from his office on February 22.

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