Ya’alon Hints Israel May Target Iranian Scientists

[AURDIP’s note : How can the community of physicists tolerate without reacting that Israel assassinates Iranian nuclear scientists with impunity and claims to continue to do so ?]

‘We can in no way tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons,’ Israeli defense minister tells German Der Spiegel.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon implied that Israel may seek to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists in order stop Iran’s nuclear program in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, released on Friday.

In response to the question “So will we see further deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists through attacks or malware compromising Iranian computer networks?”, Ya’alon said: “We should be ready to defend ourselves. I’m not responsible for the lives of Iranian scientists.”

Ya’alon also didn’t rule out the possibility that Israel would bomb Iranian nuclear facilities should Iran violate the deal and resume its military nuclear program.

“In such a case, we will have to discuss it,” Ya’alon told Der Spiegel. “At the end, it is very clear. One way or another, the Iranian military nuclear ambitions should be stopped.

“We can in no way tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons. We prefer for this to be done through a deal or sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself.”

In the Der Spiegel interview, Ya’alon reiterated Israeli objections to the deal, reached between Iran and world powers in July. Ya’alon warned that the deal would make Iran into a nuclear threshold state, and that lifting the sanctions would lead to an increase in the funds Iran transfers to terrorist groups around the Middle East.

Five Iranian scientists were reportedly assassinated between 2012 and 2014, and though Israel has never commented officially on these killings, major Western media, quoting off-the-record Israeli intelligence sources, have attributed them to the Mossad.

In March 2014, CBS News reported that following pressure from the Obama administration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered the Mossad to stop the assassinations.

CBS national correspondent Dan Raviv, an expert on Israeli intelligence, reported that the Mossad “ran an assassination campaign for several years aimed at Iran’s top nuclear scientists. The purpose was to slow the progress made by Iran, which Israel feels certain is aimed at developing nuclear weapons; and to deter trained and educated Iranians from joining their country’s nuclear program.”

“Remarkably, the Israeli assassins were never caught, obviously having long-established safe houses inside Iran – although several Iranians who may have helped the Mossad were arrested and executed,” the CBS report stated.