News / Middle East

Iran’s Spy Chief Denounces Alleged Israeli Plot Against Nuclear Scientists

Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi speaks with foreign and local media at a news conference in Tehran, 11 Jan 2011
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi speaks with foreign and local media at a news conference in Tehran, 11 Jan 2011

Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Heydar Moslehi, says there is a vast assassination plot behind the attacks on Iranian nuclear physicists last year.

The intelligence minister claims the alleged suspects in the killings are connected with Israel's Mossad spy agency.  Heydar Moslehi warned any countries providing support to Israel represent a threat to the region.

He accuses Israel of using, what he calls, mercenaries for intelligence purposes.  He names Iranian opposition and separatist groups and says they collude with Israel and NATO spy organizations, which they contact in Western Europe.

Physicist Masoud ali-Mohammadi was killed one year ago, followed by the death of nuclear physicist Majid Shahriari in November.

Iranian TV broadcast what it called a "confession" Monday by an alleged terrorist named Majid Jamali-Fash, who claimed to have visited Israel to be trained by the Mossad.

But political science professor Houchang Hassanyari, of Canada’s Royal Military College, says the confession looks forced.

"The confession was, I think, very artificially, hastily organized and put together," he said.  "Basically, what the gentleman was saying: he mentioned Tel Aviv: [that] Israeli agents took them to a place in the north of Tel Aviv, trained them and showed them how to use a motorcycle."

Hassanyari notes that Moslehi’s announcement comes exactly one-year after ali-Mohammadi was assassinated, and says the Iranian government is under pressure to find the culprits.

"Many, maybe millions of Iranians who watched that are pessimistic about the whole staging of this situation," he said. "People in Iran [are] criticizing the regime: how they pretend to be able to monitor a fly in the sky and are not capable to find the assassins of those who killed ali-Mohammedi."

University of Denver Political Science Professor Nader Hashemi says the Iranian government is suffering a "huge crisis of legitimacy" and that its normal reaction is to blame either the United States or Israel whenever something goes wrong.

"Whenever anything goes wrong [the regime] falls back on this standard refrain that the entire world is conspiring against us, everyone is to blame for Iran's internal problems, except Iran's current regime and its own political leaders," he said.

Amir Moussavi of Iran’s Center for Arab and Iranian Studies told several Arab satellite TV channels that Tehran possesses convincing documents about Western and Israeli involvement in assassinating Iranian scientists.  But he refused to elaborate on what those documents might be.

U.S. officials have called the accusation of involvement absurd.  Israeli Cabinet Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer said last year he knew nothing about the incident, but it is not surprising Iran blames Israel.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More