Iranian nuclear scientist assassination 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian security forces on Thursday announced the arrest of a ring of assassins which it says were responsible for the recent killings of nuclear scientists, Iranian media reported. Police also sought to directly tie the suspects to Israel, alleging that they were "hired by an Israeli spy network," according to state news agency IRNA.
Tehran has in the past accused Israel of being behind the killings of several of its nuclear scientists. In January, the Islamic state blamed Israel when a nuclear scientist was killed by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcyclist in Tehran.
The announcement marks the second wave of Iranian arrests of alleged assassins in recent months. In April, Iran announced that it had arrested several members of a "major terrorist group" over the killing of nuclear scientists.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that the suspects were responsible for the killing of Majid Shahriari, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and Reza Qashqaei - all scientists allegedly working on Tehran's contentious nuclear program.
Iran alleged that western spy agencies responsible for carrying out the nuclear assassinations collaborated with People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK,) an exiled Iranian organization dedicated to overthrowing the ruling regime and replacing it with a democratic, secular government.
Following the arrests, Iran announced its commitment to continue with its efforts to bring to justice the "terrorists" who "martyred the young scientists in cold-blooded murder," IRNA reported.
Tensions are running high between Iran and Israel, which has not ruled out a military strike on the Islamic Republic if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve a row over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.Reuters contributed to this story.