has emerged as a key suspect in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran yesterday, thought to be the latest strike in a covert war that has targeted technicians, military plants, and computer systems at the heart of Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment program.
While Israel has maintained its official policy of ambiguity, analysts here say that Israel’s Mossad is very likely involved in a joint venture among foreign intelligence agencies that want to ratchet up pressure on Iran as new economic sanctions bite. They also suggest that while such attacks may risk an escalation of hostilities, the calculation makes sense for the Jewish state, faced with the potential threat of a nuclear-armed enemy in its neighbourhood.
Few believe that the strikes will ultimately deny Iran of its goal of nuclear capability, but observers credit the covert campaign with slowing down Iran’s nuclear progress over years, giving more time for diplomats and pushing back the possibility of a military strike.
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This story originally appeared at The Christian Science Monitor.