An Iranian nuclear physicist with ties to the reformist movement led by the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Moussavi, has been killed by a bomb near his home.
Dr Moussad Ali-Mohammadi was leaving his house on his way to work at Tehran University when the bomb, attached to a motorbike, went off, killing him instantly.
The Iranian authorities said they suspected the hand of exiled opposition movements working on behalf of America and Israel, a charge denied by Washington.
They drew parallels with the disappearance of a scientist attached to the country’s nuclear programme while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, who the authorities say was kidnapped and handed over to the Americans.
But Dr Ali-Mohammadi’s academic work was highly theoretical and the body responsible for the country’s nuclear research programme, which has brought Iran into conflict with the West, said he had no connection with it.
Opposition movement supporters also said he was on a list of 240 academic backers of Mr Moussavi published before last year’s disputed election. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — It comes as little surprise that the Iranian government would be quick to accuse Israel and the US of being behind this assassination. The US is currently operating a far from covert assassination program in Pakistan and less than a year ago it was reported that Israel had launched a program specifically targeting Iran’s top nuclear scientists.
Last February, The Telegraph reported:
Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran’s nuclear programme, US intelligence sources have revealed.
It is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime’s illicit weapons project, the experts say.
The most dramatic element of the “decapitation” programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran’s atomic operations.
Israel is also widely assumed to have been behind the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, a leading member of Hezbollah, in Damascus two years ago.
Governments that sanction or instigate assassinations have a hard time pleading innocence.
So, does this mean that Mossad is the prime suspect in this case? Probably not. More likely this was instigated by the regime itself. The killing would send multiple messages:
1. The official line – foreign enemies of the state are on the lose and Iranians must stand together to face this threat.
2. Those who support the opposition are risking their lives by doing so.
3. Any Iranian nuclear scientists who might consider defection have been served notice that they might meet the same fate.