Reading about spies,killings and intrigue in Tehran

Espionage: Book is seen as an Israeli-written work exposing what Israel doesn’t want world to know

Written by Agencies | New York | Published: July 13, 2012 12:43 am

The latest literary sensation in Tehran is a thriller about Iran’s nuclear program that is laden with espionage,cunning and political murder. But its authors are not former Iranian intelligence operatives or Iranian military fiction writers. They are not the Iranian equivalent of Tom Clancy.

The book,Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars,has set off a buzz among both government and opposition news media inside Iran for the assertion by its authors —Yossi Melman,widely regarded as a leading Israeli military and intelligence journalist,and Dan Raviv,a CBS political correspondent — that five Iranian nuclear scientists killed in the past five years were all assassinated by operatives,most likely of Persian Jewish heritage,employed by Mossad.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it is responsible for the killings.

Iranian news sources view the book as an Israeli-written work exposing something the Israeli authorities do not want the world to know.

Spies Against Armageddon offers a broad overview of a widely reported Israeli campaign to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program,which Israel contends is a guise for developing nuclear weapons,an accusation the Iranians deny.

But the book’s assertion that the assassins were all Mossad agents who used agency safe houses maintained inside Iran since the era of the shah is new.

Iran’s state-financed Press TV focused in a Persian-language article on the book’s assertion that a Mossad unit known as Kidon — meaning Tip of the Spear in Hebrew,and responsible for assassinations and kidnapping — sent operatives to Tehran to carry out the assassinations over the past five years.

The authors base their conclusions on reporting of public interviews,statements by Israeli leaders,leaked US State Department cables and off-the-record meetings between the authors and Israeli officials.

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