Iran's president says leaked American diplomatic cables recounting Arab calls for the US to launch a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities were intended to stir "mischief" and describes the affair as a satanic plot.
According to the cables released Sunday by online whistle-blower Wikileaks, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
"We don't give any value to these documents," Ahmadinejad told a news conference "It's without legal value. Iran and regional states are friends. Such acts of mischief have no impact on relations between nations."
Ahmadinejad alleged the leaks were an "organized" effort by the US to stir trouble between Iran and Arab neighbors. He said the documents were "psychological warfare."
"Some part of the American government produced these documents," he said. "We don't think this information was leaked. We think it was organized to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals."
Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the man killed was involved in a major project with the country's nuclear agency, though he did not give specifics. Some Iranian media reported that the wounded scientist was a laser expert at Iran's Defense Ministry and one of the country's few top specialists in nuclear isotope separation.
'Hand of the Zionist regime'
Iranian officials said they suspected the assassination was part of a covert campaign aimed at damaging the country's nuclear program, which the United States and its allies says is intended to build a weapon – a claim Tehran denies. At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years, one of them in an attack similar to Monday's.
Ahmadinejad told a press conference that "undoubtedly, the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved in the assassination."
Scene of assassination in Tehran
But he said the attack would not hamper the nuclear program and vowed that one day Iran would take retribution. "The day in the near future when time will come for taking them into account, their file will be very thick," he said.
Asked about the Iranian accusations, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel did not comment on such matters. Washington has strongly denied any link to previous attacks.
The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. His wife, who was in the car with him, was wounded.
Reuters, The Associated Press and Dudi Cohen contributed to this report
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