Iranian media call for revenge for scientist killings, as leaders seem to soften on nuclear program

Iranian state media are raising the specter of revenge assassinations on Israeli and possibly Western targets in response to the killings of nuclear scientists that Iran has blamed on Israel and the U.S., the latest development in an escalating, multiple-front war of words.

The U.S. has denied any involvement in the violence, most recently the bomb blast Wednesday that killed Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, while Israeli officials have hinted at covert campaigns against Iran without directly admitting involvement. Iranian leaders, meanwhile, have vowed to take their complaints to the United Nations while at the same time agreeing to open their nuclear facilities to outside inspectors.

Recent Iranian wargames near the Strait of Hormuz have further increased tensions in the region and with the U.S., given that the straight is a strategic oil route and that Iran has threatened to block it if provoked.

And it didn't help relations this week when Iran announced a joint U.S.-Iranian national will be executed after being found guilty of spying -- a charge both he and Washington denies.

As for the threat of retaliation for the scientist killings -- at least four in two years -- the most incendiary rhetoric appears to be mostly contained to Iranian state media.

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