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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Iranian nuclear scientist shot dead by motorcyclist

Another Iranian nuclear scientist has been shot dead on the streets of Tehran.
ISNA named the scientist as Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university teacher who held a PhD in physics. It was not clear whether he was part of Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Enriched uranium can be used for civilian nuclear purposes, but also to build atomic bombs.

"An Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in front of his house today ... and his wife was also wounded," it said. "He was shot dead by a motorcyclist."

Deputy Interior Minister Safarali Baratlou said it was not clear whether Rezaie was a nuclear scientist, Iran's Labour News Agency ILNA reported. "Police investigations are continuing ... Nobody has been arrested so far," Baratlou told ILNA.

The state news agency IRNA also reported the assassination but gave different details. Officials were not available for comment.

"Rezaie was a PhD student in electronics ... He was assassinated in front of his child's nursery in Bani Hashem street," IRNA said, quoting an unnamed official. "His wife, who was wounded in the attack, has been hospitalized."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Several nuclear scientists have been assassinated in Iran in the past few years, and in November one Iranian scientist was killed and one was wounded in Tehran.

Iranian officials and media have blamed Israel, which Tehran calls "the Zionist regime", and the United States for the killings.

In the past few months, the Islamic Republic has arrested a number of alleged "nuclear spies" and ordered its citizens not to leak information to foreign secret services.
Al-Arabiya adds:
There have been several instances when Iran’s nuclear scientists were targets of assassination or kidnap.

In November 2010, twin blasts in Tehran killed top nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari and wounded another, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani. Tehran then swiftly blamed the CIA and Mossad for the attacks.

In January 2010, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, another Iranian nuclear scientist involved with the SESAME- light for Experimental Sciences and Application in the Middle East - project, was killed in a bomb attack which Tehran blamed on “mercenaries” in the pay of Israel and the United States.

In July 2010, Iranian nuclear researcher Shahram Amiri said after returning to the Islamic republic that he had been held in the United States for more than a year after being “kidnapped” at gunpoint by two Farsi-speaking CIA agents in the Saudi city of Medina.
We don't believe Amiri was kidnapped. By the way, what ever happened to him? Hmmm.

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At 5:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Iran has a tough time maintaining security of its nuclear program.

Anything that keeps it from advancing closer to a nuclear bomb is good news, indeed.

I'm not all that broken up over this story!


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