Death of two Iranian scientists, a mysterious secret and a “poisoned dinner”

In just the last two weeks, Iran has staged a series of assassinations for which Tehran is rushing to hold Israel responsible, and the New York Times says, “Israel seems to have expanded its targets from high-ranking figures linked to its nuclear program. in reduction – military and scientists of the level ”.

And last week, two scientists died in what is believed to be a “poisoning case, behind which Israel may be,” according to the newspaper, but what happened remains a mysterious secret due to the confusion of information released by Tehran.

The incident comes after the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Colonel Saeed Khodaei in a shooting that targeted him in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Iran believes Israel killed two scientists, Ayoub Taziri and Kamran Agamulai, by poisoning their food, according to an Iranian official and two other government-linked figures who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

I was met by an aeronautical engineer working at a military research center, and another, Kamran Agamulai, was a geologist.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment to the newspaper on the latest two deaths inside Iran.

And if Iran’s suspicions about the deaths are confirmed, it will be the latest assassination in the shadow war between the two sides, which is reaching a new level as Iran approaches the ability to build nuclear weapons.

Both graduated from the best Iranian universities, according to the newspaper, and were healthy and fit, before suddenly falling ill in late May and ending up in intensive care units at hospitals in two different cities about 400 miles away. Each other.

The newspaper says that to make matters worse the mystery after their death, that Israeli media and Persian news channels abroad reported that Agamulai was working on the Iranian nuclear facility Natanz.

His friends, according to the newspaper, denied this and said he worked for a private geological research company and the New York Times could not confirm that he had any connection to the government or any weapons program.

Taziri received a doctorate in aeronautics and worked on missile and aircraft turbine projects for a government aviation and space center in Yazd, about 390 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran.

He developed symptoms of food poisoning after attending a dinner party he was invited to in Yazd, according to an employee of a senior Iranian official.

A colleague from the military search facility where he worked said on social media that he was in good health the night before he suddenly fell ill, and Iranian media reported that no one else in his family got sick, even though everyone ate the same. food.

The governor of Yazd province, where he lived, handed his family a certificate of condolence in the frame, considering him a “martyr” and thanking the family for their sacrifices for the sake of the homeland.

Iran gives the title “martyr” in honor of those who were killed by “enemy fire or while performing duty to their country.” A Yazd city council member described his death as “bioterrorism”.

The newspaper said the dinner host was missing and authorities were looking for him, according to the employee, whose identity could not be revealed because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Agamoulai had just returned to Tehran from a business trip to the northwestern city of Tabriz, when he had nausea and severe diarrhea that worsened day by day until his organs failed and he died, according to one of his friends.

If these somewhat similar deaths were, as Iran suspects, targeted killings, then it would fit the pattern of a shadow war with Israel that saw both sides hitting each other secretly to avoid a war of attrition. full.

In the face of repeated Israeli security breaches by Israel, officials quickly withdrew descriptions of waiting for a “martyr” or any other detail that might indicate an Israeli attack – something that could embarrass authorities.

The governor’s public relations office withdrew the “martyr” reference two days later, saying it was a mistake.

The Yazd Prosecutor’s Office denied that Tazdi was an aerospace engineer, saying instead that he was an ordinary employee of an industrial company.

Israel has worked covertly for years to undermine Iran’s nuclear and weapons programs, including killing experts involved in Tehran’s efforts, and has attacked Iranian military sites that are developing advanced drones and missiles.

Iran, on the other hand, has sought to target Israeli citizens worldwide and has armed and funded regional anti-Israel militias, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

But much of the conflict has centered around the nuclear program.

If negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal fail and Iran accelerates its nuclear activities or reduces its cooperation with United Nations observers, the secret war with Israel risks erupting into open conflict.

The accelerated pace of attacks in Iran, combined with recent comments by Israeli leaders, indicates a shift in Israel strategy.

Last Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said “last year was a year to change the course of Israel’s strategy towards Iran,” adding: “We have moved to a higher level. We operate at all times and country and we will continue to do so. “

Over the past two weeks, a prominent member of the Revolutionary Guard has been targeted and killed, a young engineer at the Ministry of Defense has been killed in a drone strike, and another prominent member of the Revolutionary Guard has fallen suspiciously. from a balcony and died.

Photos and videos published in the Iranian media dating back to 2019 show my waiter making a presentation to then-president Hassan Rouhani at the Ghadir Industrial Turbine Company, where he worked.

Mahmoud Waitari, a relative of his, said on his Instagram page that the engineer was concerned that his life was in danger after his photos with Rouhani appeared in the local media.

He told his relatives that the photos had to be kept secret.

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