United State officials said yesterday that Israel plans to continue a covert operation to delay Iran's nuclear program by assassinating key Iranian scientists despite growing opposition from the United States, according to a report in the Middle East Times. Active for almost a decade, the program involves targeted killings of key Iranian assets as well as disrupting and sabotaging Iran's nuclear technology purchasing network abroad, the sources said.
U.S. opposition to the program has intensified as President Barack Obama makes overtures aimed at relieving tensions between the two countries, partly due to the U.S.'s desire to use Iran's road networks into Afghanistan to help resupply U.S.-NATO forces there. But Israel's interests in the region are not the same as those of the United States, several U.S. officials said. Pat Clawson, director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said of the Israeli killings: "That's what the Israelis would do, what we would expect them to do. They would kill Iranian scientists."