Iran nuclear physicist killed: Iran sees US, Israel behind the attack
Iran state media reported Tuesday that a nuclear physicist and 'staunch supporter' of the Islamic Revolution was assassinated in Tehran near his home.
A nuclear physicist was assassinated in Tehran on Tuesday by a remotely controlled bomb, Iranian news outlets reported. The reports made thinly veiled suggestions the attack could have been carried out by the United Sates or Israel. The physicist's murder comes amid increasing speculation that Iran has been making nuclear weapons and ahead of a meeting this week by major powers on whether to impose further sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran's state-run Press TV described Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, a lecturer at Tehran University, as a "staunch supporter" of the 1979 Islamic revolution –and thus the current regime. It said a booby-trapped motorbike exploded near his home and that police were investigating the "terrorist case."
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Press TV correspondent Amir Mehdi Kazemi, reporting from the scene of the assassination, quoted security officials as saying that the equipment and system of the bomb used in the attack had been related to a number of foreign intelligence agencies, particularly Israel's Mossad.
The reporting said the attack follows the June disappearance of another Iranian nuclear scientist and that authorities believe he was detained by the US. "It seems the kidnap and assassination of Iranian scientists is on the agenda of the United States," it added.
Terror attacks against officials in remote areas of Iran are not uncommon, but they are extremely rare inside the capital, says The Wall Street Journal. It was not clear whether Dr. Ali-Mohammadi had any involvement in Iran's nuclear program.
On Monday, Iranian media outlets said the country has voluntarily put its uranium enrichment on hold as a goodwill gesture, reports Israel's Haaretz, adding that those reports could not be confirmed.
Meanwhile, with or without connection to these reports, U.S. government officials have said that there was still a chance of striking a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
The possible deal, according to the Washington based newspaper Politico, would be based on the proposal formed late last September and early October in talks in Geneva and Vienna, between Iran and Western powers. The agreement may still go through, even though the deadline which U.S. President Barack Obama set for nuclear talks with Iran, the end of 2009, has expired.