The Mossad worked for months to stage the assassination of its latest Iranian nuclear scientist target last Wednesday, The London Times reported Sunday.
Quoting unnamed Israeli sources, the newspaper said that well-trained team of agents working in Iran set up the bomb attack on Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, a scientist at the Natanz nuclear facility. He also was involved in missile development.
Israel has publicly said it knows nothing about the killing, the latest in what has been termed as “Israel‘s secret war” that has pinpointed dozens of scientists and officials who have died in mysterious airplane crashes and in street assassinations the past three years.
The closest Israel came to admitting involvement was a comment by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gants to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee last week, where he said that there probably will be “unnatural” events in Tehran this year. His statement and the leaks to the Times indicate as wanrings to Iran that Israel can undermine the regime from within the country and provide enough information to help it stage a military attack.
Roshan was killed by a magnetic bomb placed by agents on a motorcycle, one of the favorite methods for eliminating Iranian nuclear scientists.
“There is zero tolerance for mistakes. By nature, every failure not only risks the neck of the agents but also risks turning into an international scandal," the source told the British paper.
It said that agents followed Roshan’s movements from a “safe house” and also staked out Iran’s intelligence headquarters in Tehran, where unusual activity the morning of the assassination almost forced an abortion of the strike.
Iran apparently took steps to protect Roshan, whose bodyguard checked his Peugeot 405 vehicle for explosives before driving.
The motorcycle used in the attack was hidden in a garage, and after Roshan and his driver entered the vehicle around 8 a.m., the Mossad agents gave the order to carry out the operation, the Times stated.
The masked motorcyclist attached the magnetic bomb to the car, and it exploded exactly nine seconds later, mortally wounding Roshan and his driver.