Sunday Times: Mossad killed Iran expert
Ahmadi Roshan was killed when a magnetic bomb was attached to his car on January 11, 2012.
A London-based newspaper says agents of Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, are responsible for the recent targeted attack in Tehran which killed an Iranian nuclear scientist last week.
The Sunday Times reported on Monday that the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was similar to operations seen in “espionage films” - planned over a period of many months, and included extensive surveillance and intelligence gathering.
The daily quoted an unnamed Israeli source as claiming that the killing was a precursor, not an alternative, to a military strike intended to make rebuilding nuclear facilities more difficult for Iran once they are bombed.
Based on the report, small groups of Mossad agents had been carefully observing key areas in Tehran which they deemed relevant to the assassination of Roshan.
“There is zero tolerance for mistakes. By nature, every failure not only risks the necks of the agents but also risks turning into an international scandal,” said the Israeli source.
The Sunday Times report claimed that Ahmadi Roshan was monitored from a makeshift control room in a safe house nearby as he was preparing to leave for work.
The report added that as Ahmadi Roshan's bodyguard was driving him to the Natanz uranium enrichment site, where he served as deputy marketing manager, a masked person on a motorbike approached the car through traffic, planting on the vehicle, a bomb that was shaped to deliver its full force to the passenger.
Following the operation, the United States moved fast to deny any connection with the assassination.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “We were not involved in any way with regards to the assassination that took place there.”
The British Foreign Office also said Britain had “no involvement whatsoever” in the attack.
Ahmadi Roshan was a Sharif University of Technology chemical engineering graduate and served as the deputy director of marketing at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.
The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike.
In November 2011, some of the US presidential hopefuls called for conducting covert operations ranging from assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists to launching a military strike on Iran as well as sabotaging Tehran's nuclear program.
The calls for assassinations are not idle threats as a number of Iranian scientists have been assassinated over the past few years.
According to reports, Ahmadi Roshan had recently met International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, a fact which indicates that the IAEA has leaked information about Iran's nuclear facilities and scientists.