US officials say the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists have been
carried out by an Iranian opposition group with logistical and financial support
from the Mossad, NBC News reported Thursday.
The report was based on
testimony from one of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior
advisers, who described an intimate relationship between Israel and the
opposition group MEK (the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran) that “two senior US
officials” confirmed as accurate.
NBC quoted Khamenei’s aide Muhammad
Javad Larijani as saying, “They [the Israelis] are paying... the Mujahedeen.
Some of [MEK’s] agents... [are] providing Israel with information.
they recruit and also manage logistical support.”
Larijani explained that
because Israel did not have “direct access” to Iran, the Mossad was working with
the dissident group, which operates in Iran and also has agents in
One of the two senior US officials who reportedly confirmed the
Iranian accusations said that all the “inclinations” in Larijani’s remarks were
Khamenei’s aide said Iran’s proof of Israeli involvement was
based on the interrogation of an assassin who had unsuccessfully attempted to
carry out a similar attack, and the “materials found on him,” according to the
Despite Iran implicating the CIA in the most recent assassination
– that of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, near Tehran University –
the officials denied any US involvement in the attack.
Ministry declined to comment, saying it would not “react to every gossip and
report being published worldwide,” according to NBC.
Iran believes Israel
wants to kill its nuclear scientists to thwart its controversial nuclear
program, which Israel believes is aimed at developing a nuclear
While it did not respond to NBC’s report, MEK summarily denied
any involvement in the assassination of Iranian scientists after Roshan was
killed by a bomb a passing motorcyclist latched to his car.
The US has
long designated MEK as a terrorist organization, since it killed American
personnel in Iran in the 1970s and supported the takeover of the US Embassy
there following the Islamic Revolution.