Iran Hangs 'Israeli Spy' for Nuclear Scientist Assassination: Reports
Iranian state media reported today the man convicted of assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist on behalf of the Israeli spy agency Mossad has been executed by hanging in an Iranian prison.
The Iranian government claims Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, was recruited and trained by Mossad to be a spy and was paid $120,000 to kill Iranian nuclear physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2010. Mohammadi died after a motorcycle packed with explosives was detonated by remote control as he walked past. Fashi also confessed to receiving forged travel documents in Azerbaijan to travel to Israel, Iran's Press TV reported.
In January 2011, Iranian media broadcast Fashi's confession in which he said he "received different training courses, including chasing, running, counter-chasing and techniques for planting bombs in a car" while in Tel Aviv, according to Iran's Fars News.
The Iranian government has in the past claimed that Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. intelligence agencies are to blame for the recent assassinations of as many as five Iranian scientists involved in the country's controversial nuclear or missile programs since 2007. British and American officials have strongly denied the accusations - a White House spokesperson called them "absurd" in the wake of Mohammadi's death - and the Israeli government has offered no official public comment.
Iranian media previously reported the government had arrested a number of individuals in connection with the deaths of the nuclear scientists.
In November 2011, the Iranian government accused the head of the United Nation's nuclear regulatory agency of endangering Iranian nuclear scientists by publishing their names in open reports.
"The release of the names of the Iranian scientists by the agency has made them targets for assassination by terrorist groups as well as the Israeli regime and the U.S. intelligence services," said Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh in a letter to Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Following the deaths of the Iranian scientists, Israeli officials suspected Iran to be behind a series of bombings and attempted bombings on Israeli targets from the nation of Georgia to Thailand. In the case of an explosion that wounded five people in Bangkok, Thailand, three Iranians were arrested.
At the time, an Iranian official condemned the Bangkok blast and told Iran's Press TV that Israeli agents are often behind such attacks.