'Der Spiegel': Mossad behind Iran scientist assassination

German magazine quotes unnamed Israeli intelligence source saying the move was the first act of new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo.

August 2, 2011 11:00
1 minute read.
Incoming Mossad head Tamir Pardo.

Tamir Pardo 311. (photo credit: Channel 10 News)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Der Spiegel reported on Monday that the Mossad was behind the assassination of Darioush Rezaie, an Iranian nuclear scientist who was murdered on July 23.

The German news magazine quoted an unnamed Israeli intelligence source as saying that the move was the first act of the new head of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo.

'Iranian nuclear scientist killed in Tehran'

Rezaie, who was fatally shot by a motorcyclist, is the fourth known Iranian nuclear scientist to be killed since 2010. Der Spiegel noted that each of the other three, Masood Ali Mohammadi (January 2010), Majid Schahriari and Feridun Abbasi (November 2010), was killed by either motorcycle riding gunmen or motorcycle bombs.

An International Atomic Energy Agency investigation showed that Rezaie held a Ph.D. in physics and was working on developing a nuclear switch used for detonating nuclear weapons, according to the Der Spiegel report.

The German magazine wrote that while Iran accuses the United States and Israel of hiring hitmen to carry out various attacks inside Iran, Washington denies any involvement and Israel is silently ambiguous. However, a purported smile on the face of Defense Minister Ehud Barak when refusing to speculate on the killing gave the Der Spiegel reporter who wrote the story reason to believe he was hiding something.

Although Israel maintains a strict policy of ambiguity when it comes to Mossad operations, the Israeli spy agency was widely believed to have been involved in creating and planting the Stuxnet computer virus, which crippled Iranian nuclear research facilities during the summer of 2010. 

According to the Der Spiegel article, the Mossad and Israel Air Force (IAF) are competing for both the privilege and the funding to attack the Iranian nuclear program. Each claims that the other is incapable of effectively delaying, let alone destroying Iran's ability to attain nuclear weapons.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Argentina's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich
March 25, 2019
Argentinian Minister reveals details on Iranians with Israeli passports