Heydar Moslehi

The Iranian Minister of Intelligence announced on Sunday that 20 people have been arrested as part of its operation aimed at “identifying and destroying” the people who targeted Iran’s nuclear scientists for assassination.

The Fars News Agency reports that Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said: “Since the file is still under investigation, we have to wait a while before all the charges have been confirmed and documented, but in general the charges are far more than what was stated in the last announcement by the Intelligence Ministry.”

On Thursday, the ministry announced the arrest of people responsible for assassinating two Iranian nuclear scientists, Majid Shahriyari and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, as well as the latter’s driver, Reza Ghashghavi.

Earlier this year, the ministry had also announced the arrest of Ali Jamali Fashi, who later appeared on state TV claiming responsibility for the death of Massoud Ali Moahmmadi, another Iranian scientist, who was killed in December 2009 after a bomb exploded in front of his home.

Jamali Fashi gave a step-by-step description of his recruitment by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization. He was executed last month.

The Iranian Intelligence Minister accused Israel of using territory in one of Iran’s neighbouring countries to launch its alleged terrorist operations. He stressed, however, that the government of the neighbouring country is not aware of these operations.

He said that such a situation in a neighbouring country cannot be tolerated and must be addressed as soon as possible.

Three Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated on the streets of Tehran, while another escaped an assassination attempt.

Iran has accused the U.S. and Israel of orchestrating the attacks on Iran’s scientists. While the United States has denied the charge, so far the Israeli government has not denied the allegations.