An Iranian nuclear scientist was reportedly smuggled out of the Islamic Republic to the UK in a joint operation of the British Intelligence Agency MI6, the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, according to the Sunday Express.
According to the newspaper, the British agents took advantage of the migrant crisis plaguing Europe in order to smuggle the Iranian scientist on a dinghy on New Year's Eve to the town of Lydd in Kent.
The 47-year-old scientist and 12 additional Iranian migrants crossed the English Channel in an inflatable boat, sources told the paper.
The scientist, who apparently has information about Iran's nuclear program, reportedly helped orchestrate the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, another Iranian nuclear scientist who was killed by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcyclist in Tehran in 2012.
The Mossad reportedly managed to smuggle the scientist from Iran to Turkey, after being questioned he was passed on to MI6 to begin his journey to Britain.
The UK remained in the Iran nuclear accord, from which the US had withdrawn in September 2018, which meant MI6 had to hide their involvement in the operation to get the 47-year-old to Britain.
"This wasn't without its challenges," a source was quoted by the Sunday Express as saying. "His absence was noted quickly, and we were informed that a special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had been dispatched."
"Once in France, the question of how to get him into Britain remained. We couldn't simply fly him in," the source said. "Though unusual, it was determined that infiltrating him into a group of fellow migrants preparing to cross the Channel by boat offered one solution."
Upon his arrival to England, the Iranian nuclear technician was taken for questioning by American and British intelligence before being flown to the US.