11 Jan 2012

Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack

International Editor

An Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcyclist in Tehran, the fourth such attack on nuclear experts in the country in two years. Lindsey Hilsum reports.

The Fars news agency identified the victim as Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, a 32-year-old graduate of an oil industry university.

It is believed he was a superviser at a department of Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Iran’s atomic energy organisation said it would issue a statement shortly.

“The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and the work of the Zionists (Israelis),” Fars quoted Deputy Tehran Governor Safarali Baratloo as saying.

As well as the person killed in the car, a pedestrian was killed. Another passenger in the car was gravely injured, Fars reported.

Tehran - Reuters

On Tuesday Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, the Chief of the Israeli General Staff, reportedly told an israeli parliamentary panel that this would be a “critical year” for Iran, partly due to “things that happen to it unnaturally.”

In November 2010 two bomb attacks in Tehran killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another.

Majid Shahriari, a lecturer at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, was killed in his car and his wife was wounded when two people drove by on motorcycles and attached the bombs, which then exploded, as the cars were moving.

In a separate incident, Shahriari’s colleague, Fereidoun Abbasi, and his wife were wounded in an identical attack.

Two years ago, Masoud Alimohammadi, a university and nuclear scientist, was killed when a booby-trapped motorbike parked near his car exploded.

There was no immediate word from Israeli officials. Israel has always declined comment on previous such bombings in Iran.