Ayoub Kara
Ayoub Kara Israel news photo: Flash 90

An Iranian nuclear scientist has asked for asylum in Israel, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, of the Druze community, said Saturday.

"My office has received a request from an Iranian scientist who is currently staying in a friendly country, by means of an Israeli Jewish woman of Iranian birth,” Kara revealed in a interview panel appearance in Ramat Gan. “I am making an effort to assist in this matter because I believe in helping anyone to remove the strategic and nuclear threat upon the enlightened and democratic world.”  

He said he had received permission from Israeli intelligence officials to reveal the matter publicly, without going into details that could compromise the scientist. The woman who is mediating between the scientist and Israel was in Kara's office on Wednesday, he said.

Kara added that Arab countries are also “not indifferent” to the Iranian nuclear threat. “They are aware of the Iranian ambitions to go back to being the Persian superpower, and they are aware that they are on the Iranian crosshairs no less than Israel.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, “is lulling them to apathy by focusing his threats upon Israel, but no one has any doubt that the Arab countries will be part of the [targets of] Iranian nuclear attack, if the world continues to sleep and allows this option to materialize, G-d forbid.”    

Second defector in a month?

If the information is true, this would apparaet to be the second case involving an Iranian defector-scientist to be revealed in less than a month. On March 31, an award-winning Iranian nuclear physicist was reported to have defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States.

ABC news quoted officials who termed the defection of the scientist, Shahram Amiri, "an intelligence coup" in the CIA effort to undermine Iran's nuclear program. Amiri went missing in June 2009 while in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He had worked at a Tehran university that is closely connected to Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.