Israel raises security after Iran scientist killed

Defense establishment tightening security for overseas delegations amid fears of Iranian retaliation.

By
January 13, 2012 02:52
2 minute read.
Israeli security officers [file]

Israeli security officers 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The defense establishment is tightening security over Israeli delegations overseas out of concern that Iran will avenge the assassination on Wednesday of a senior nuclear scientist and ahead of the anniversary of the killing of Hezbollah’s military chief.

Security officials said that meetings were being held regularly by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Counterterrorism Bureau to assess the threat and make adjustments to the security of delegations and senior officials overseas.

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On Thursday, a hardline Iranian newspaper with links to the country’s top authority called on the clerical establishment to take retaliatory measures against Israel for the killing of scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in Tehran.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its role in the assassination.

“We should retaliate against Israel for the martyring of our young scientist,” wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editorin- chief of the Kayhan newspaper, who was appointed by the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “These corrupted people are easily identifiable and readily within our reach... assassinations of the Zionist regime’s military men and officials are very easy.”

Even without the calls for retaliation by the Iranians, the Israeli defense establishment traditionally goes on high alert this time of year ahead of the anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, the commander of Hezbollah who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus in February 2008. Hezbollah has accused Israel of perpetrating the assassination.

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Hezbollah is believed to be actively seeking revenge for Mughniyeh’s death, and over the years there have been reports of a number of plots that were thwarted including an attempt to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Azerbaijan.

Earlier in the week, the Israeli Transportation Ministry asked Bulgarian authorities to tighten security measures around Israeli tourists in Sofia after a suspicious package was discovered on a bus that was supposed to transport the tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria.

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