The Islamic Republic has been targeted by an escalating covert war, widely attributed to the United States and Israel and their proxies. That war has included the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, the Stuxnet computer virus, American CIA spy drone flights deep into Iranian airspace, and a host of unexplained explosions and acts of espionage.
"I think [Iran] has reason to be suspicious," says Rolf Ekeus, the Swedish former director of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq in the 1990s. "The Iranians don't trust the other side at all. When these killings are taking place ... they have all the more reason to be angry and upset; it's cruel [killing] scientists going to their job."
Iranian officials say that nuclear inspectors of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have contributed to that toll, whether they are aware of it or not. They accuse the IAEA of breaking its own rules, by exposing secret information gleaned during inspections that, they charge, has been grist for hostile intelligence agencies seeking regime change in Iran.