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Iranian Nuclear Scientist Assassinated

Iran: 'Israel,U.S. & Anti-Revolutionary Forces Are Responsible For Assassination Of Nuclear Scientist Prof. Massud Masoudi in Tehran'

Former Mossad Chief Shabtai Shavit: 'I Have No Idea Who Planted The Bomb But Covert War Is Being Waged By West Against Iranian Nuclear Weapons Project'

Today's Technology Enables Covert Operations To Be Conducted From A Distance & Borders Are No Obstacle!'

Iranian Nuclear Reactor

 Who assassinated senior Iranian nuclear physicist Prof. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi by a bomb planted near his car outside his Tehran home on Tuesday morning? Iran blames Israel, U.S. and Iranian opponents of the regime. Israel has failed to react to the accusation. In an interview with Israel Radio, Shabtai Shavit, a former director of Mossad, Israel's Secret Intelligence Service, said he had no idea who planted the bomb but he also discussed what he called 'the covert war being waged against the Iranian nuclear weapons project'.

 Seven-thirty, Tuesday morning, Tehran: Prof. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, thought to involved in Iran's nuclear weapons program, leaves his home and walks to his parked car. An explosion then rocks the neighborhood killing the nuclear scientist on the spot, slightly injuring two bystanders and damaging adjacent buildings. News reports say the explosives appeared to have been planted in a nearby motorcycle and detonated by remote control. Iranian sources were quick to point the finger at Israel, U.S. and the Mujahidin Halk opponents of the regime, who have provided reliable intelligence on the Iranian nuclear project in the past. Israel has not, and if past experience is the practice, will not react to the Iranian charges.

Shabtai Shavit

Shabtai Shavit, a former chief of Mossad Israel's, secret intelligence service, has revealed some aspects of what he called the 'covert war being waged against Iran's nuclear weapons project'. Shavit was interviewed in Hebrew on Kol Yisrael, the Voice of Israel:

Question: Does the Tehran assassination indicate Israel's fingerprints?

Shavit: 'I have no idea who did it. But I will look at it through professional eyes. The trick is for whoever who did it not to leave any fingerprints about who is behind it.

Question: Is this not a well-known type of operation, something in which Israel has a lot of experience?

Shavit: 'There is a covert war being waged by not a few sources in the West and within its framework many and varied activities are conducted, this includes assassinations. No one of them has a patent on any type of operation'.

Question: The assassinated nuclear scientist was thought to be involved in Iran's nuclear program - what do you know about him?

Shavit: 'Personally I know nothing about him. I assume the Iranian have more than a dozen or more nuclear physicists with various levels of knowledge, but his name doesn't tell me anything'

The Iranian Missile Range

Question: It is well known that there is cooperation between the intelligence services of the U.S., European countries and Israel - could they have cooperated in the Tehran bombing?

Shavit: 'I can confirm half of your statement - there are such exchanges of intelligence and assessments but I cannot say if this reached the resolution of such a joint operation in this case.

Question: What problem would be posed today by operating at such a distance as Iran?

Shavit: 'I will say this - today's methods are vastly different and are far more sophisticated than in the past. Today's technology makes it possible to conduct not only in asymmetrical warfare , but also in the war on terrorism without regard for borders and distances. I would go as far as saying they now have no significance and do not pose an obstacle for those fighting terrorists'.

Question: Would the assassination of the Iranian scientist be more of a symbolic action or might it indicate concern that the Iranians are moving closer to the bomb or even that it's maybe too late to stop them?

Shavit: 'Why would it be symbolic if someone thought this nuclear scientist was playing an important role ( in the nuclear weapons project) - then it would be more than symbolic. But I don't think it's too late for stopping Iran. If all the Free World would really get serious about imposing harsh sanctions- the U.S., Europe, Russia and\or China than Iran can be stopped. But Russia, whose support is crucial, does not cooperate on the sanctions for her own peculiar reasons even though she also faces the Iranian nuclear threat as do all the others.

Question: Should Israel sit with folded hands or initiate on her own? For example, just a few days ago we saw a TV report about how the Israel Air Force has developed a long range strike capability.

Shavit: 'I don't think Israel is sitting with folded hands - I am also aware of that TV report. But not only Israel - a senior U.S. commander, General Petraeus told CNN the U.S is also training and preparing military operations to be conducted to cope with an Iranian nuclear threat.

(General Petraeus, commander of the U.S Central Command, said: "It would be almost literally irresponsible if CENTCOM were not to have been thinking about the various 'whats and ifs' and to make plans for a whole variety of different contingencies").

The assassination of Prof. Ali-Mohammadi is the latest but not necessarily the last Iranian nuclear scientist to be eliminated from Tehran's nuclear weapons project. Dr. Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear physicist at the Isfahans uranium enrichment facility, died in suspicious circumstances in 2007. The official Iranian explanation was that he died of 'gas poisoning'. At the time, the British newspaper Daily Telegraph quoted Western intelligence sources as saying that Israel was behind Hassanpour's sudden death. According to the analysts, several other key figures in Iran's procurement and enrichment program have also been Mossad 'hits' in recent years.

David Essing

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