Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bomb Rigged Motorcycle Kills Iranian Nuclear Scientist With Ties To Mousavi

A nuclear scientist who the Iranians claim was not involved in Iran's nuclear program was killed when a bomb rigged motorcycle blew up as the scientist emerged from his apartment in Tehran. The scientist, who was a professor at Tehran University, also happened to be a supporter of opposition leader Mirhussein Mousavi, which raises questions as to whether the regime's thugs took out the scientist as a message to Mousavi and his supporters.
State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Ali Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mousavi.

Hard-line government supporters called at recent street rallies for the execution of opposition leaders. But Ali Mohammadi was not a well-known figure in Iran.

The government blamed the rare assassination on an armed Iranian opposition group that it said operated under the direction of Israel and the U.S. Iran often accuses the two countries of meddling in its affairs - both when it comes to postelection unrest and its nuclear program. Israel's Foreign Ministry had no comment.

A spokesman for the atomic agency, Ali Shirzadian, told The Associated Press that Ali Mohammadi had no link with the agency responsible for Iran's contentious nuclear program. Iran is under pressure from the United States and its European allies, which suspect Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

"He was not involved in the country's nuclear program," Shirzadian said of the victim.

Another Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, disappeared in June while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, raising questions about whether he defected and gave the West information on the country's nuclear program. Amiri worked at a university linked to the Revolutionary Guard and his wife said he was researching medical uses of nuclear technology at a university.
That the Iranians are stressing that this wasn't a scientist involved in the nuclear program increases the likelihood that the assassination was the work of the Basiji at the order of the regime to intimidate Mousavi's opposition to cease and desist or face the harsh repercussions.

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