Home/Daniel Larison/NBC Report: Israel and the MEK Responsible for Deaths of Iranian Nuclear Scientists

NBC Report: Israel and the MEK Responsible for Deaths of Iranian Nuclear Scientists

NBC News reports that Israel and the MEK have been working together to kill Iranian nuclear scientists:

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

I had seen claims to this effect made earlier this year, but I believe this is the first time they have been corroborated by U.S. government sources. If true, the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists with bombs have been committed by a recognized terrorist group. Can everyone acknowledge at this point that these attacks were acts of terrorism?

It’s not in the least surprising that the perpetrators of anti-regime terrorist attacks inside Iran belong to an anti-regime terrorist group. This is a good example of why the MEK is on the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list and why it should remain on it until the group ceases to have the capacity and intent to commit terrorist acts. It makes a certain amount of sense that Israel would use anti-regime terrorists to carry out these killings, but Israel isn’t doing itself any favors by working with a group as widely and deeply loathed in Iran as this one. For its part, the MEK continues its old habit of killing Iranians in the service of foreign governments. Is it any wonder that the vast majority of Iranians and the legitimate Iranian opposition want nothing to do with them?

I hope the many American politicians and retired military officers who have mistakenly lent any support to the MEK will now stop doing so, but I have a feeling that quite a few of them will continue to speak on their behalf.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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