Israeli Spy put to Death in Iran
Yesterday, the Iranian press released a statement that the Iranian government has executed a man they believed to be an Israeli intelligence spy. The alleged spy was convicted of killing a scientist for Iran’s nuclear program.
Press TV, a satellite broadcaster in Iran, released the identity of the alleged Israeli spy. His name was Majid Jamali Fashi, and he was convicted for the murder of one of the scientists working in Iran’s nuclear program, Masoud Ali Mohammadi. He was convicted in January 2010. 50 year old Masoud Ali Mohammadi was a professor at Tehran University. At this time, it is still unclear exactly what role in the nuclear program Mr. Mohammadi played. At the time of his death, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said he had no role in the nuclear program.
The case is just another part of the ever-growing tension between Iran and Israel, and demonstrates that they are willing to resort to tactics outside of traditional warfare. Iran says their nuclear program is for only peaceful purposes and that they do not intend to start using nuclear weapons, but Western leaders suspect otherwise.
At the time of Mr. Mohammadi’s killing, the Iranian media reported that a bomb attached to a motorcycle had exploded right outside of his home. Iran responded by blaming both the United States and Israel for the attack. A spokesman for the State Department in Washington said that the accusation of involvement of the United States was just “absurd.”
Press TV said Mr. Fashi had been executed at Tehran’s Evin prison. He had also been found guilty of “receiving training from Mossad” — the Israeli spy agency — inside Israel and of being given $120,000 to assassinate the Iranian scientist. He had also confessed to using forged documents, received in Azerbaijan, to travel to Tel Aviv, the broadcaster said.
The Iranian added to their accusations by saying that Mr. Fashi of traveling abroad “on several occasions” to receive additional training for spying.
The killing was one of several apparently aimed at Iranians associated with nuclear research. The latest came in January when Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, who was deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, was killed on his way to work in rush-hour traffic in Tehran.
While Israel generally declines comment on such assassinations, Iran routinely blames Israeli agents for seeking to derail its nuclear program.
Iranian news accounts said that a motorcyclist slapped a magnetized bomb on Mr. Roshan’s car, killing him and mortally wounding his driver and bodyguard, identified as Reza Qashaqei.
The execution of Mr. Fashi came weeks after Iran’s state media announced that 15 people, including Iranians and unspecified foreigners, had been arrested in connection with what the country’s Intelligence Ministry described as a “Zionist-regime-linked” plot to assassinate one of its “specialists.”
The report by the state broadcaster IRIB also said Iran’s intelligence services had uncovered an Israeli spy base in a neighboring country, without elaborating.
The execution also coincided with talks in Vienna between Iranian envoys and officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss the agency’s desire to inspect facilities that it suspects have been used to test explosives capable of detonating a nuclear charge, which Iran denies.
The talks, set to continue Tuesday, however, are also seen as an informal precursor to talks scheduled this month in Baghdad, between Iran, the United States and other nations.