LONDON: Israel has been accused of poisoning two Iranian scientists involved with the regime’s missile programs amid a rise in assassinations in the country.
Ayoub Entezari, 35, a Yazd-based engineer at a missile and drone center, died of suspected poisoning after returning from a party on May 31.
Soon after, Kamran Aghamolaei, 31, died on June 2 of multiple organ failure after returning from a business trip in Tabriz. He was a geologist who reportedly worked at the Natanz nuclear facility.
Entezari’s dinner party host has since disappeared, according to The New York Times, which added that Iranian officials had said that the blame had been put on Israel.
The suspected poisonings, which have not seen blame directed at Israel in public, follow a spate of assassinations on men linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a special branch of the Iranian regime’s military.
Col. Sayad Khodai, one of the men linked to the IRGC, was fatally shot on May 22 in Tehran. He was known in Iran for working in Syria to support Shiite militias that were taking on Daesh and other rebel groups. Iran has openly blamed Israel for his death, vowing to take revenge.
On June 3, Col. Ali Esmailzadeh, who was also linked to the IRGC, died after he fell from the roof of his house just outside of Tehran.
Iranian officials said it was a suicidal accident, but Iran International, an opposition television channel, said Esmailzadeh was murdered for spying on behalf of Israel.
Just over a week before Esmailzadeh’s death, Ehsan Ghadbeigi, an engineer, was killed in a drone attack on May 25 at the Parchin military research site.
Located just outside of Tehran, Parchin is central to the regime’s missile and drone development efforts. It is also reportedly related to the nuclear weapons development program.
And more recently, Iran announced the deaths of two low-ranking IRGC officers. 2nd Lt. Ali Kamani was reportedly killed in a “car accident,” according to early news reports, but later official publications said he had been “martyred.”
Kamani’s death over the weekend was followed by reports of another officer, Mohammed Abdous, dying “during a mission” in the north of Iran.