After numerous vehement American denials of any ties to the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan two days ago — the fourth Iranian nuclear scientists to die in a suspicious manner — Israel’s president has formally denied any ties between his nation and the act.
In an interview with CNN en Español, president Shimon Peres denied that Israel had involvement with the death of Roshan, 32, a scientist at Teheran University and the director of a department at the uranium refining facility in Isfahan, who was killed in a Bourne-like attack when two masked motorcyclists attached a magnet-bomb to his car.
In the interview, Peres, who was a founder of Israel’s nuclear program in the 1950s, said that “to [his] knowledge” Israel had nothing to do with it, adding that “Israel and the United States are always named” by Iran when such attacks take place.
Still, Israel continues to be a prime suspect. On the DailyBeast, security analyst Eli Lake says that “circumstantial evidence” points to the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence arm, as the likely culprit.
Lake quotes William Tobey, a former deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and a National Security Council specialist on nuclear issues, saying that, “This sophisticated technique is uncharacteristic of the Iranian armed opposition and the Iranian government, it is characteristic of the Mossad,” he said. “I am unaware of episodes when Americans and Europeans have done this kind of assassination. Of course, the Americans are involved in assassinations using predators, but not this kind of operation with agents on the ground, the natural suspect is the Mossad.”
In a rare one-on-one interview with The Weekend Australian, (firewalled) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that “sanctions on Iran are working.”
In outtakes from the interview obtained by Ha’aretz, Netanyahu says “For the first time, I see Iran wobble under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central bank.”
"If these sanctions are coupled with a clear statement by the international community, led by the US, to act militarily to stop Iran if sanctions fail, Iran may consider not going through the pain. There's no point gritting your teeth if you're going to be stopped anyway."
Related: Bomb kills another nuke scientist.
Netanyahu reiterated that Iran is trying to hide its nuclear program underground. He underscored the danger to the world if a nuclear weapon were to fall into radical Islamist hands, whether “the Taliban takes over Pakistan” or “the ayatollah regime were to acquire the atomic bomb.”
"Either one would be a catastrophic development for peace, for the supply of oil to the world, for the safety of many countries; First of all my own country but also to many others."
Also today, Foreign Policy Magazine published an article alleging that Israeli Mossad agents have been posing as CIA agents to recruit terrorists in the fight against the Iranian bomb. Quoting a number of American intelligence officials, Foreign Policy correspondent Mark Perry reports that the principal Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, without the knowledge of the US government, and infuriated U.S. President George W. Bush.