Iran car explosion ‘kills nuclear scientist’ in Tehran

A university lecturer and nuclear scientist has been killed in a car explosion in north Tehran, reports say. Report In  فارسی FARSI 

Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, an academic who also worked at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, and another unidentified person were killed in the attack.

The blast happened after a motorcyclist stuck an apparent bomb to the car.

Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in recent years, with Iran blaming Israel and the US.

Undated file photo of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan  (provided by Fars news agency)Mr Ahmadi-Roshan supervised a department at an uranium enrichment facility in Isafahan

Both countries deny the accusations.

Iran’s Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told state television that the attack against Mr Ahmadi-Roshan would not stop “progress” in the country’s nuclear programme.

He called the killing “evidence of [foreign] government-sponsored terrorism”.

Local sources said Wednesday’s blast took place at a faculty of Iran’s Allameh Tabatai university.

Two others were reportedly also injured in the blast, which took place near Gol Nabi Street, in the north of the capital.

‘Magnetic bomb’

Mr Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, was a graduate of Sharif University and supervised a department at Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province, semi-official news agency Fars reported.

“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],” deputy Tehran governor Safarali Baratloo said.

Attacks on Iranian scientists

Jan 2012 – Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a professor at the Technical University of Tehran, died after bomb was placed on his car by a motorcyclist

Nov 2010 – Majid Shahriari, member of nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University, killed in Tehran after bomb attached to his car by motorcyclist in Tehran. Another scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani – future head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran – is hurt in a separate attack

Jan 2010 – Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a physics professor, died when a motorcycle rigged with explosives exploded near his car

Witnesses said they had seen two people on the motorbike fix the bomb to the car, reported to be a Peugeot 405. A second person died in the attack though the car itself remained virtually intact.

The BBC’s Mohsen Asgari, in Tehran, says that the explosion was caused by a targeted, focussed device intended to to kill one or two people and small enough not to be heard from far away.

The latest attack comes almost two years to the day since Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a 50-year-old university lecturer at Tehran University, was killed by a remote-controlled bomb as he left his home in Tehran on 12 January 2010.

Nuclear suspicions

Reports at the time described Dr Mohammadi as a nuclear physicist, but it later appeared that he was an expert in another branch of physics.


image of Gordon CoreraGordon CoreraSecurity correspondent, BBC News

This attack seems to be part of a covert campaign which is clearly part of a wider push to try to delay and stop Iran’s nuclear’s programme.

Everyone thinks Israel’s Mossad is behind this attack, though they would never confirm that.

What remains unclear is what the effect will be – if Iran will seek to respond in some way and the whole thing could escalate.

We have seen much rhetoric and bluster from both sides, for example on the threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, but there will be pressure domestically in Iran to be seen to respond.

There was also confusion as to whether the attack had any domestic political overtones because of reports about his apparent links to an opposition presidential candidate.

However, in August 2011, an Iranian man – Majid Jamali Fashi – was sentenced to death for the killing, with state authorities saying he was paid by Israel’s Mossad spy agency. Israel does not comment on such claims.

Of the latest attack, Fars reports that the bombing method appears similar to another 2010 bombing which injured former university professor Fereydun Abbasi-Davani, now the head of the country’s atomic energy organisation.

There has been much controversy over Iran’s nuclear activities.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy purposes, but the US and other Western nations suspect it of seeking to build nuclear weapons.

In a statement quoted on Iranian television on Wednesday, the country’s atomic energy agency said its nuclear path was “irreversible”, despite mounting international pressure.

 Source BBC