The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. See more
Images of June
Friend flees Assad as U.S. pressures Russia
Contest may send rapper Pitbull to Alaska Wal-Mart
05 Jul 2012
Virus could black out nearly 250,000 PCs
05 Jul 2012
Dismal U.S. hiring shows economy stuck in low gear
Wall Street skids lower on jobs gloom
In California, immigration bill designed as the ”anti-Arizona”
Insight: ”Green Fleet” sails, meets stiff headwinds in Congress
Mormons quit church in mass resignation ceremony
Market Pulse: Non farm payrolls - euro sell signal?
Samsung sales rocket, but risks loom beyond Galaxy
Word spreads of defected Syrian general
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
A look at the life and legacy of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Slideshow
From the scientists on the ground to stunning views from space, a look at man's continuing exploration into the final frontier. Slideshow
Iran blames France, Germany for atomic scientist assassinations
Iran losing billions as oil exports extend slump
Thu, Jul 5 2012
Iran says can destroy U.S. bases "minutes after attack"
Wed, Jul 4 2012
Iran says it test-fires missiles in war of nerves
Tue, Jul 3 2012
Brent oil up 3 percent on Iran concerns, stimulus hope
Tue, Jul 3 2012
Iran threatens Israel; new EU sanctions take force
Sun, Jul 1 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Counterparties: A tentative housing recovery
What if Iran gets the bomb?
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iranian worshippers carry a picture and coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed in a bomb blast in Tehran on January 11, during his funeral after Friday prayers in Tehran January 13, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl
Fri Jul 6, 2012 11:52am EDT
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's spy chief accused German and French intelligence agencies on Friday of involvement in assassinations of its nuclear scientists, sticking to a hard official line as sanctions imposed over its disputed atomic ambitions bite harder.
The Islamic Republic has previously accused Israel, the United States and Britain of plotting the killings to set back its uranium enrichment program, which Western powers suspect is being used to develop nuclear weapons capability.
Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi spread the blame to France and Germany, after days of hawkish rhetoric and missile tests by Tehran that helped push benchmark Brent crude oil prices above $100 for the first time since June.
"In these two networks (involved in the assassinations) we saw connections with the information services in Germany, France, Britain, Israel, the United States and regional intelligence agencies," the state news agency IRNA quoted Moslehi as saying. He did not name the other countries.
At least four scientists associated with Iran's nuclear program have been assassinated since 2010, most recently in January this year. [ID:nL6E7IR0L2] Washington has denied any role in the killings, while Israel has declined to comment.
Iran denies Western accusations of a covert agenda to develop a nuclear weapon, insisting it wants to stockpile enriched uranium solely to generate more electricity for a rapid growing population and radio isotopes for medical treatment.
Talks between world powers and Iran to resolve the standoff have so far failed to secure a breakthrough.
Oliver Thraenert, head of the think-tank unit of the Zurich-based Center for Security Studies, said that by accusing Western states of involvement in the assassinations, Moslehi could be signaling his opposition to any deal with them on the nuclear issue.
"It might be the case that behind these allegations is an internal fight about whether Iran should seek a compromise with the Western countries," Thraenert said.
"If you accuse a nation like Germany or France of being behind these assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists of course it is obvious that you cannot strike a deal with those countries," he said.
Away from the international stage, Iran's nuclear program has become a domestic political football, with hardliners criticizing rivals for allegedly capitulating to the West.
In a poll conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) earlier this week, more than two thirds of respondents opted for "the suspension of uranium enrichment in exchange for the gradual lifting of sanctions," in answer to the question: "Which way do you prefer to confront the unilateral sanctions of the West against Iran?"
Nearly 20 percent favored closing the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation and another 18 said Iran should resist the sanctions in order to safeguard its nuclear rights.
The number of respondents was not known. Analyzing the results, IRINN said the poll "by no means can reflect the views of all or even the majority of the revolutionary people of Iran".
A European Union ban on the import, purchase or shipping of Iranian oil took effect on July 1 as part of widening international sanctions aimed at prodding Tehran into curbing enrichment and opening up to U.N. nuclear inspections.
Toughened U.S. sanctions on Iran took effect on June 28.
(Reporting by Isabel Coles; Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.