Israel funded and trained Iranian terrorist group, US officials say

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

An Iranian dissident group funded and armed by Israel was responsible for the deaths of several Iranian nuclear scientists during the past four years, confirming accusations by Iran’s leaders, United States government officials told NBC.

The group responsible, known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, was labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. for allegedly killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s. The group also supported the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking away from the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

In addition to killing Iranian scientists, the group’s attacks may have destroyed a missile research and development site. Many of the attacks were carried out on motorcycle, with riders attaching magnetic bombs to victims’ cars.  Iran has accused Israel of training the dissidents how to perform these assassinations.

“[Israelis] are paying … the Mujahedin,” said Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ”Some [agents] … [are] providing Israel with information.  And [Israelis] recruit and also manage logistical support.”

U.S. officials spoke on the condition of anonymity and claim that, while the Obama administration was not involved in the attacks, it knew about the assassination campaign.

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