JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is responsible for the assassination last week of an Iranian nuclear scientist, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported.
The assassination of Darioush Rezaei is the first "serious action" taken by new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, an unnamed Israeli source told the news outlet, according to an article published on the newspaper’s website Tuesday.
Rezaei, who worked at a nuclear research center in northern Tehran, is the third Iranian nuclear physicist who has been assassinated in the past 20 months.
The killings are part of a campaign to sabotage, or at least slow down, Iran’s nuclear program, Der Spiegel reported, citing unnamed sources in Israeli intelligence.
The report also cited its military source as saying that the calls for bombing Iran are increasing, especially from Israeli Air Force officers.
Iranian media first identified the victim of last week’s assassination as Rezaei, who worked on the development of switches for a nuclear bomb, then amended its identification to name graduate student Dariush Rezaeinejad. Der Spiegel asserts that the victim was indeed Rezaei, who has not been seen since the attack.
Two attackers shot Rezaei in the throat, the magazine said, before fleeing on a motorcycle.