Monday, November 29, 2010

Iranian nuclear scientist killed and another wounded, Iran accuses Israel and US

An Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed on Monday and another wounded in two separate attacks in Tehran. Both men were targeted by men on motorbikes who attached bombs to the windows of their cars as they drove to work.
Both worked at the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. The killed scientist, was named Majid Shahriari. His wife was injured. The scientist injured in the second attack was named as Fereydoon Abbasi. His wife was also wounded. According to the conservative news website Mashregh News, Dr Abbasi is "one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes" - a process that is crucial in the manufacture of uranium fuel for nuclear power stations and is also required for the creation of uranium-based nuclear weapons. Abbasi has also been a member of the Revolutionary Guards since the 1979 revolution, the website said.

Cartoon from Haaretz. The caption says: Meanwhile in Tehran.
At a news conference, President Ahmadinejad accused Western powers and Israel of being behind the murder. "One can undoubtedly see the hands of Israel and Western governments in the assassination which unfortunately took place," he said, without specifying which Western governments. He said the assassination would not stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear programmes.
Earlier, state television reported a similar claim by Iran's Interior Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who accused US and Israeli intelligence services of killing the scientist."Mossad and the CIA are the enemies of Iranians and always seek to hurt this nation. They particularly want to stop our scientific progress," he said. The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, who went to visit the surviving scientist in hospital, said he had a message for the country's enemies: "Do not play with fire".

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