By Kylie Atwood, CNN
December 2, 2020
Washington (CNN) A senior US administration official said Israel was behind the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist but declined to give details about whether the Trump administration knew about the attack before it was carried out or provided support.
The official said that in the past, Israelis have shared information with the US about their targets and covert operations before carrying them out but would not say if they did so in this instance. The Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed Friday, had been a target for the Israelis for a long time, the official added.
Iran has blamed Israel for the attack and said the operation bore the hallmarks of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad. While Iran has provided no evidence of Israeli involvement, Israel has neither denied nor claimed responsibility for Fakhrizadeh’s death.
The New York Times first reported that a US official said Israel was behind the attack over the weekend.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel less than two weeks before the attack was carried out, part of a regional trip that included the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all places where he discussed Iran with his counterparts.
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