The head of the cyber warfare program of Iran has been shot dead. This act will further boost the allegations that the foreign powers are aiding assassinations of the key security figures of the country.
Mojtaba Ahmadi has been commanding the headquarters of the cyber warfare program of Iran. He was found dead near Karaj town which is situated on the north-west side of the country’s capital, Tehran. Since 2007, five nuclear scientists of the country and a head of its ballistic missile program have been mysteriously killed. The government is of the view that the Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad is the one behind all these killings.
Ahmadi last left his home for carrying out his work on Saturday and then he was found dead near Karaj with 2 bullets in his heart. This report is according to a website named Alborz. An eyewitness in conversation with the officials of the website said “I could see two bullet wounds on his body and the extent of his injuries indicated that he had been assassinated from a close range with a pistol”.
A local police commander has said that two motor bikers had carried out the assassination.
The confirmation that Ahamadi has been among the commanders of the cyber warfare headquarters came from the Facebook page of the officers that work in those headquarters. They have expressed their condolences on the page and have strongly condemned the killing. However, the users of Alborz have given out a warning that the page on which is the condolences are being made is openly accessible and it may pose a threat to the country’s national security.
One of the posts the page said that they should stop giving out any further information about Ahmadi as it may lead to counter-parties taking advantage from his death.
Subsequently, a statement was given by one of the divisions of the Revolutionary Guard Corps that the killing is being investigated and premature speculations about the persons or group involved should not be made.
Western officials have stated that the information about the death was being assessed, but the previous killings of the Iran’s nuclear scientists and their key security figures have been a big blow to the country. Strict security measures and provisions that have been made for the key commanders and the security personnel of the country, have created an environment of fear among many parts of the country’s security establishment.
Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was the last one to have been killed and was working as a chemist on Uranium enrichment program at a plant in Natanz. He died in an explosion which took place in his car back in January 2012.
It is being speculated the death of the cyber program leader may be an extension of the subterfuge campaign that is being carried out against Iran. There have been many allegations on Iran that they have carried out different cyber-attacks on the western countries. Shashan Joshi, who is an expert for the Royal United Services Institute has said that the cyber-attacks threat from Iran was not as big as the threats of their nuclear program. He also said that “Iran’s cyber-attacks on Israel and elsewhere in the region are a rising threat and a growing threat, but it hasn’t yet been seen as a major and sustained onslaught, so it would be pretty novel and significant to take this step in the field of cyber-warfare at this time”.
There have been allegations on the Revolutionary Guard that they have been involved in supplying their expertise to the Syrian regime for the purpose of carrying out hacking of foreign targets.
The latest killing may hinder the diplomatic effort that has been carried out by the new elected President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. He is of the view that the confrontation that has been going on between the western countries and Iran over the nuclear program can be resolved within months.