BERLIN, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Israel was behind the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week in Tehran, the German magazine Der Spiegel reports.
In an article titled "Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source" the German news magazine bases its information on an unnamed Israeli intelligence source who claimed it was the first major operation carried out by the new Mossad director Tamir Pardo.
The report surveys a series of assassination attempts against Iranian nuclear scientists over the past 18 months. The article points out that after last week's assassination there were conflicting reports concerning the scientist's identity.
Initially the victim was identified as Darioush Rezaei, a physics professor and expert in neutron transport, but later Iranian authorities identified the dead man as Darioush Rezaeinejad, an electronics student.
Der Spiegel said it believes Professor Rezaei was killed in the attack, noting he has not been seen in public since.
Iran accused Israel and the United States of the killing. While Washington denied any involvement, Israel has remained silent, the magazine said.
The intelligence source also told Der Spiegel the Israeli Air Force supports an aerial attack on Iran's nuclear sites, a plan the Mossad opposes. As long as the Mossad is leading the campaign against the Iranian nuclear program it continues to get the big targets, the source indicated.