WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Israel's intelligence agency has been working with an Iranian group classified as terrorist to kill Iranian nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News.
Five Iranian scientists have been assassinated since 2007. The Iranian government blames the Israeli Mossad and the People's Mujahedin of Iran or MEK, a group that supported the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and later split from the regime.
The United States classified the group as terrorist because of its alleged involvement in killing U.S. soldiers and the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
Two sources described as senior U.S. officials told NBC MEK was involved in the killings. A third said the link had not been confirmed.
Iranian officials say the Mossad provides financial support to MEK and has trained its assassins. In the most recent killing, two men on a motorcycle approached a scientist's car and quickly left the scene after attaching an explosive device.
The U.S. officials said President Obama and members of his administration know about the Israeli effort.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the Mossad has to use MEK as a proxy because it does not have direct access to Iran.