Iran sentences ‘Mossad agent’ to death over nuclear scientist killings

FILE PHOTO: A worshipper holds an anti-U.S. President Barack Obama poster and portraits of killed Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran
FILE PHOTO: A worshipper holds an anti-U.S. President Barack Obama poster and portraits of killed Iranian nuclear scientists during the funeral for nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed in a bomb blast in Tehran on January 11, after Friday prayers January 13, 2012. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo


24 October 2017 |Bozorgmehr Sharafedin | Reuters

“LONDON (Reuters) – Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran’s prosecutor said on Tuesday.

At least four scientists were killed between 2010 and 2012 in what Tehran said was a program of assassinations aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program. Iran hanged one man in 2012 over the killings, saying he had links to Israel.

On the latest conviction, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told the judiciary’s news agency: “The person had several meetings with (Israeli intelligence agency) Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites in return for money and residency in Sweden.”

U.S. pushing Israel to stop assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists: “Although Israel has never acknowledged it, the country’s famed espionage agency – 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.” [CBS 01 March 2014)

The headline of the report described the convicted person as a “Mossad agent”.

Amnesty said the court verdict against Djalali stated that he had worked with the Israeli government which then helped him obtain a Swedish residency permit.

Neither Iran nor Amnesty said when the verdict was issued.

Sweden condemned the sentence and said it had raised the matter with Iranian representatives in Stockholm and Tehran.

“We condemn the use of the death penalty in all its forms. The death penalty is an inhuman, cruel and irreversible punishment that has no place in modern law,” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in an emailed comment.

Iran executes nuclear scientist who returned to country from US: Iranian judiciary confirms hanging of Shahram Amiri who it claims was a spy who had given away state secrets. [Guardian, 07August 2016]

Djalali, a doctor and lecturer at Stockholm medical university the Karolinska Institute, was arrested in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven months, three of which were in solitary confinement, according to London-based Amnesty.

“Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to (the) use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East advocacy director.

 Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the Iranian nuclear scientist killed in Tehran on January 11, with his son, Alireza. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

Iran’s nuclear scientists are not being assassinated. They are being murdered: Killing our enemies abroad is just state-sponsored terror – whatever euphemism western leaders like to use. [Guardian 16 January 2012]

The United States has denied Iran’s accusation that it was involved in the scientists’ deaths, while Israel has a policy of not commenting on such allegations.

Dolatabadi said the convicted person gave Mossad information about 30 nuclear and military scientists including Massoud Ali Mohammadi, who was killed by a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle outside his home in Tehran.

The judiciary said the defendant was also linked to the assassination of nuclear engineer Majid Shahriari, killed in a bomb attack in November 2010.

Djalali’s wife Vida Mehrannia, who lives in Sweden with their two children, has told Amnesty that his physical and mental health has sharply deteriorated since he was detained.

AN UNPRECEDENTED LOOK AT STUXNET, THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL WEAPON: In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran noticed that centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the Iranian technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them. [Wired 2014]

“We are calling for his release because he has not committed any crime,” Amnesty quoted her as saying.

The vice-chancellor of the Karolinska Institute, where Djalali received his PhD in disaster medicine in 2012, said he was deeply concerned.

“For many years, he has worked with researchers from all over the world to improve the capacity of hospitals in countries suffering from extreme poverty or affected by disasters and armed conflicts,” Ole Petter Ottersen said in a statement published on the university’s website.

“We ask that Dr Djalali be subjected to due process and fair trial.”

A new film gives a frightening look at how the US used cyberwarfare to destroy nukes: First authorized by President Bush and then re-authorized by President Obama, the top secret computer worm was designed by the US and Israel to infect an Iranian nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. And it did. Too well. The code made its way into the facility and infected the specific industrial control systems the Iranians were using. Once it turned itself on about 13 days after infection, it sped up or slowed down the centrifuges until they destroyed themselves — all while the operators’ computer screens showed everything was working as normal. [Business Insider 07 July 2016]

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