A possible blow was dealt to the Mossad on Monday after Iranian intelligence
services announced they had succeeded in penetrating the Israeli spy agency’s
operations in that country.
According to a statement put out by the
Iranian Intelligence Ministry, Iran had arrested a network of spies linked to
the assassination of one of the country’s top nuclear scientists a year ago, and
the spies had revealed information on additional anti-Iran Israeli
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Iran blames the Mossad for the assassination last January of
Teheran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, who was killed by a
bomb-rigged motorcycle that exploded outside his house as he was leaving for
work. Possible explanations as to why he was targeted have never been made
clear, particularly as he had no known link to Iran’s nuclear work, although
some reports have indicated that Mohammadi was involved in the country’s nuclear
“After months of silent struggle, offensive,
multi-layered and complicated operations and penetration into the depths of the
Zionist regime’s intelligence led to the uncovering of very important and
sensitive information about Mossad spies and operations,” the Intelligence
Ministry statement said. “Heavy blows were inflicted on the structure of the
Zionist intelligence and security services.”
On Monday, Iran’s state TV
broadcast confessions of one of those arrested, in which the unidentified young
man said he had undergone training in Israel on how to place bombs in
In the confession, the alleged spy claimed he had been flown to
Israel by an Israeli who spoke Persian, and was taken to Mossad headquarters,
which he incorrectly claimed was located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He said
that the headquarters was four kilometers long and surrounded by barbed wire
The man, whose face was visible, said he received training at the
“Two new Iranian-made motorbikes were there,” he said. “They told
me where to go, where to stop, whom to call and how to do things back in
The Intelligence Ministry said in Monday’s statement that the
investigation into the professor’s death had led authorities back to the Mossad
and to the conclusion that Israeli spies operating from Europe and from
countries that neighbored Iran were directing a campaign to kill Iranian nuclear
scientists. It offered no details.
“After extensive security measures and
precise intelligence tracking... the main agents behind this terrorist crime
were identified and arrested, and a network comprising spies and terrorists
affiliated with the Zionist regime was destroyed,” it said.
made no secret of its efforts to covertly stop Iran from developing nuclear
weapons. In an American diplomatic cable from 2007 published recently by
WikiLeaks, Mossad head Meir Dagan told a visiting US official that Israel was
conducting covert operations to stop Iran. A number of assassinations in recent
years of key Iranian scientists were attributed to Israel.
recent assassination took place in November when an explosive device was
attached to a scientist’s car as he was driving in Teheran. Another example took
place in 2007, when nuclear scientist Ardeshir Hosseinpour died from gas
A one-week delay by state media in reporting his death
prompted speculation about the cause, including that the Mossad was to
This would not be the first time Iran claimed to have captured
Israeli spies. Over the years, the Iranians have made similar announcements,
many of them believed to be fabricated and part of a psychological warfare
campaign against Israel.
AP contributed to this report.
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