Iran: Israeli 'network of spies...destroyed'

Iranian state television announces arrests related to January 2010 assassination of nuclear scientist Masoud Alimohammadi.

January 10, 2011 14:38
1 minute read.

Iran bomb new. (photo credit: AP)

Iran has arrested a "network of spies" linked to the Mossad intelligence service it claimed planned the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist in 2010, Reuters reported.

"The network of spies and terrorists linked to...Mossad was destroyed," Iranian state television reported citing a comment released by the intelligence ministry. "The network was behind the assassination of Masoud Alimohammadi."

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Iran media blames Israel, US for killing nuclear physicist
Iranian state TV: Israel killed nuclear scientist

Alimohammadi, a university scientist, was killed when a bomb attached to a motorcycle detonated outside his home in Tehran on January 12 last year. According Iranian state-run Press TV, 50-year-old Alimohammadi had just left his house on his way to work when the explosion went off. This was the first of three assassination attempts to occur to Iranian professors working in the nuclear field in 2010.

Later in the year, according to Iranian state media reports, on Monday November 29, assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Teheran, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

The attacks in November bore close similarities to the January bombing that killed Alimohammadi, and Iranian state television made comments following the attack linking Israelis to the attack. "In a criminal terrorist act, the agents of the Zionist regime attacked two prominent university professors who were on their way to work," the state television network reported on its website.

Iran has increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to higher levels, the country's nuclear chief said Saturday, in defiance of UN demands to halt the program.

Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi also said Iran has built a plant to make nuclear fuel plates and rods in Isfahan. That would allow Iran to produce its own reactor fuel and give it more leverage against the West. But Western experts have disputed whether Iran has the technological capability to produce plates and rods when Teheran made similar claims in the past.

Iran's refusal to stop enrichment lies at the heart of its dispute with the West over the country's nuclear program.

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