TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said Wednesday it will increase security for its nuclear scientists as a funeral was held for a leading expert killed in a mysterious assassination that the government blamed on the Mossad and the CIA.
Iranian state media said the killing of the scientist and the wounding of another on Monday was part of a Western campaign to sabotage its nuclear program, which the U.S. and its allies suspect is aimed at producing weapons. Iran denies the allegation.
According to Iran, that campaign included the abduction of Iranian scientists, the sale of faulty equipment and the planting of a destructive computer worm known as Stuxnet, which briefly brought Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to a halt last month.
Iran’s chief suspect is archenemy Israel, whose Mossad spy agency has a long history of assassinating foes far beyond the country’s borders. In this case, Iran accuses Israel of enlisting agents of an Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedeen, to carry out the hit, the defense minister said. There was also coordination with the CIA and Britain’s MI6, he claimed.
Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Wednesday the assassination was a warning to Iran before Dec. 6-7 nuclear talks with world powers.