- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Iran has deployed security teams to protect its nuclear scientists from assassinations, the Islamic republic’s interior minister announced Tuesday.

“Given the emphases laid by the president on guarding and protecting our country’s scientists, a special structure has been developed for protecting the scientists and it has started its operation,” said Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

The precautions are being taken weeks after a bomb plot that targeted two top Iranian nuclear scientists, widely assumed to have been the work of Israeli or other Western intelligence agencies.

Iran’s intelligence minister said this month that 10 people had been arrested on suspicion of being behind an Israeli plot that killed another nuclear scientist last January.

After a set of explosions killed one scientist and injured another Nov. 29, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed outrage over the plots.

“By God, if such an incident takes place one more time, we will bring each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to trial,” he said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iranian representatives are scheduled to begin a new round of negotiations over its nuclear program with representatives of Great Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany and the United States in Istanbul on Thursday.

• Ben Birnbaum can be reached at 138247@example.com.

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