[Repeat of a blog item from July 2012]
Revelations about assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists by Israel covert operatives in the new book Spies Against Armageddon, by Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, are roiling Iran, according to journalist Artin Afkhami writing in The New York Times.
“The latest literary sensation in Tehran,” he writes, “is a thriller about Iran’s nuclear program that is laden with espionage, cunning and political murder. But its authors are not former Iranian intelligence operatives or Iranian military fiction writers. They are not the Iranian equivalent of Tom Clancy.”
The authors of the new book available here in print and ebook form are in fact Raviv, a CBS News correspondent; and Melman, a respected Israeli reporter on intelligence for decades. The headline: “Tehran Abuzz as Book Says Israel Killed 5 Scientists.”
According to Afkhami, Iranian sources regard the book “as an Israeli-written work exposing something the Israeli authorities do not want the world to know.” He writes further that Iran’s state-owned Press TV reported the Spies Against Armageddon assertion that the Kidon (“Bayonet”) unit of the Mossad was responsible for the hits “over the past five years.”
Afkhami concludes: “The question of the assassins’ nationalities has been of special interest in Iran, where a suspect in one of the attacks was hanged last month. Officials announced the arrest last month of a group of suspects, describing them as agents of what Iran calls the Zionist regime without identifying their nationalities. Though the book is unlikely to end speculation about who is responsible for the covert assassination campaign against Iran’s nuclear scientists, its assertions correspond with a longstanding assumption among many security experts in Washington’s policy circles.”