View Full Version : Media Tragic accident befalls nuclear scientist in Tehran

01-13-2010, 06:38 AM
I should say, "...and dissident..."

Remote-Controlled Bomb Kills Nuclear Physicist in Iran


A remote-controlled bomb killed a Tehran University physics professor near his home early Tuesday, in what Iranian authorities called an assassination backed by Western powers, including the U.S. and Israel.

The victim was identified as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50 years old. Official news reports described Mr. Mohammadi as devout, loyal to the Islamic Republic and to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was a member of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from 1980 to 2003, according to the official Iranian Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC.


Before the June 12 presidential election, however, opposition Web sites published Prof. Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. The election triggered protests that have shaken the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Attacks on Iranian officials in remote provinces aren't uncommon. But a bombing in Tehran, the capital, is rare. The target -- seen as a longtime regime insider who had veered toward supporting the opposition -- immediately raised suspicion among colleagues and students that the attack was politically motivated.

"The reports about his assassination are suspicious," said a university colleague in a phone interview. "We are afraid this might be the start of retaliation against professors who criticize the government."

Prof. Mohammadi's membership in Iran's broadly defined nuclear-science brain trust also raised questions about whether the attack was related to the country's nuclear program. Iran says it is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, but Western officials allege it is seeking weaponsand have threatened fresh economic sanctions.

State media identified Mr. Mohammadi as a nuclear physicist. But he was best known for his work in mathematical physics and theoretical, high-energy physics, said one colleague, who was also a former student.

That could lump his work into the broad category of nuclear science, but colleagues said it had little to do with practical nuclear technology. A spokesman for Iran's atomic agency, Ali Shirzadian, told the Associated Press that the professor had no link with the agency responsible for Iran's nuclear program.

Iranian authorities said a parked motorbike was booby-trapped with an explosive device that detonated near the professor's home in northern Tehran.

Pictures and video footage of the scene showed debris of a burned and mangled car, and shards of glass, blanketing the street. Prof. Mohammadi's body lay nearby, covered with a blanket.

By Tuesday evening, the professor's current and former students were posting comments and messages of condolence on an opposition blog called Dalan Sabz, Farsi for "the Green Path."

Write to Farnaz Fassihi at farnaz.fassihi@wsj.com and Chip Cummins at chip.cummins@wsj.com

01-13-2010, 08:01 AM
Who did it and why?

Iran says the US and Israel did it. Frankie seems to think the Iranian regime did it. An anti-regime group, the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, has claimed responsibility for it.


01-13-2010, 08:18 AM
He gets 7 virgins.