Tehran charges 18 over nuclear scientist killings

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The Iranian judiciary has indicted 18 suspects on charges of involvement in the killing of nuclear scientists, according to a news agency.

Since 2010, at least five Iranian nuclear scientists, including a manager at the Natanz enrichment facility, have been killed.

Tehran has accused Israel’s Mossad, the CIA and MI6 of being behind the assassinations. The US and Britain have denied the allegations but Israel has not commented.

A report by the semi-official Mehr agency quoted chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari as saying authorities had issued indictments against the 18 suspects and they will go trial in the coming months.

In 2012, Iran hanged a man who was sentenced to death for the 2010 killing of a nuclear physicist.

Meanwhile, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed former military chief Moshe Yaalon as defence minister.

Mr Yaalon, widely known by his nickname “Bogie”, has said the Iranian nuclear programme is Israel’s top security concern. He will replace defence minister Ehud Barak, who is retiring.

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