envoys abroad have received a particularly alarming warning in recent days: "You may be targeted by Iran
as an act of revenge following the assassination of nuclear scientists in Tehran," said a message sent from Jerusalem.
The warning was conveyed by Israeli security officials, alongside a request to take increased precautions, to all of the country's emissaries abroad: Ambassadors and diplomatic staff, scientists and academics, and hundreds of representatives of Zionist organizations worldwide.
The fear of revenge attacks stems from the fact that Iran accuses Israel of assassinating
two of its senior nuclear scientists and attempting to kill a third one.
Two of the assassination attempts took place in broad daylight on November 29. The assassins attached an explosive device to the parked car of Prof. Majid Shahriari, one of the founders of the Iranian nuclear program, and escaped on a motorcycle. When Shahriari and his wife entered the vehicle, the device was detonated by remote control, killing the scientist and injuring his wife.
Several minutes later, another explosion rocked Tehran: A device attached to the car of Prof. Fereidoun Abbasi injured the scientist and his wife.
It was the third time Iranian nuclear scientists had been targeted in the past year. Dr. Masoud Ali-Mohammadi was assassinated in January in the exact same way.
The Islamic Republic rushed to accuse Israel. "There is no doubt that the Zionist regime and other Western governments are involved," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
His spokesman focused on the outgoing Mossad chief: "Meir Dagan has never concealed his real intentions regarding Iran. He plotted against us and shared some of his criminal plans with the American CIA."
Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi threatened this week that Tehran would not turn a blind eye to the recent incidents. "There is a limit to our nation's patience," he said. "Our enemies are in for a painful fate."
These accusations join Hezbollah and Iran's unsettled account with Israel following the assassination of senior Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah
in Damascus almost three years ago.
Israel estimates that Iran views the scientists' assassinations as a red line which has been crossed, as these operations took place on the Islamic Republic's sovereign territory rather than in a third country.
The fear that Iran would try to act against Israeli officials have prompted the defense establishment to warn all of Israel's representatives worldwide to take extra safety measures.