Iranian nuclear scientist assassination 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Mossad has significantly scaled back its covert operations inside Iran, Time
magazine quoted senior Israeli security officials as saying Friday.
cuts are from a wide spectrum of operations, ranging from high-profile
assassinations and detonations at Iranian missile bases to spy on recruitment
and activity in Iran, according to the report.
The cutback is being
ascribed by the officials to a reluctance on the part of Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu to engage in risky operations in Iran. According to the report, the
prime minister was involved in a botched Mossad attempt to assassinate Hamas
leader Khaled Mashaal, and has since been hesitant to approve clandestine
“Bibi is traumatized from the Mashaal incident,”
quoted the senior Israeli official as saying. “He is afraid of another
failure, that something will blow up in his face.”
Israel and Iran have
reportedly been engaging in a covert war for years. Tehran has blamed Israel for
mysterious explosions at military and nuclear facilities, assassinations of
scientists and complex computer viruses, while Jerusalem in turn has implicated
Iran in the bombings of Israeli embassies around the world.
and the European Union have imposed tough sanctions on Iran, including an EU oil
embargo that is due to go into effect in July and a move by the Society for
Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to cut off a number of
key Iranian banks, making international financial transactions all but
The international community, worrying about the wide regional
and global repercussions of a potential Israeli strike on Iran, is hoping that
the sanctions will compel Iran to halt its nuclear program.