Israel, not US, behind killings of Iranian scientists, claims new book
The United States has endorsed but does not actively participate in an ongoing Israeli-led program of assassination operations against Iranian nuclear scientists, according to a new book by two veteran Israeli intelligence commentators. Published today, July 9, by Levant Books, Spies Against Armageddon: Insider Israel’s Secret Wars, is written by CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, intelligence and military affairs analyst for Israel’s leading newspaper, Ha’aretz.
The two authors claim that the killings, which are allegedly aimed at preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, form one aspect of a multi-layered program of sabotage that consists of regular spy-missions deep inside Iranian territory. Raviv and Melman allege that Israeli operatives routinely enter and exit Iran using “a multitude of routes” and an extensive network of safe houses that is said to predate the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The book, an advanced copy of which has been received by intelNews, appears to dispute widespread media speculation that Israeli covert operations inside Iran are carried out by members of ethnic minorities hostile to Tehran and trained by the Mossad, Israel’s primary covert action intelligence agency.
According to Raviv, the task of ‘beheading’ the Iranian nuclear program is considered politically delicate by the Israeli government; the latter would never consider “farm[ing] out a mission that is that sensitive”. The CBS correspondent argues that Mossad would indeed use ethnic, religious or political “dissidents” inside Iran, primarily “for assistance and logistics”. But the hit itself, said Raviv, would be carried out by Mossad officers: “they wouldn’t trust anybody else to do it”, he told a group of Israeli and American reporters on Friday.
Speaking on the same day, Melman said that the book also reveals that the cybersabotage campaign against the Iranian nuclear program is also conducted solely by Israel, with minor technical and operational support by American intelligence agencies. As a matter of policy, Israel refuses to conform or deny whether its agencies conduct operations inside Iran.