Iran: Israel, US killed nuke scientist

2012-01-11 18:49

Tehran - An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in a Tehran car bombing on Wednesday that the Islamic republic immediately blamed on Israel and the United States, worsening a tense international standoff over its atomic programme.

Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told state television the attack would not stop Iran making "progress" in its nuclear activities.

Iranian officials noted that the assassination method - two men on a motorbike attaching a magnetic bomb to the target's vehicle - was similar to that used in the killings of three other of its scientists over the past two years.

Iran's parliament erupted with yells of "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" after Wednesday's attack.

Deputy director of uranium plant

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, died immediately in the blast, which occurred in front of a university campus in east Tehran.

His driver/bodyguard later died of his wounds, the Fars and ILNA news agencies reported. A third occupant of the Peugeot 405 was wounded and in hospital.

Ahmadi Roshan was a deputy director at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility, according to the website of the university he graduated from a decade ago, Sharif University.

He was also an academic and member of the Basij militia controlled by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the Basij said in a statement.

The scientist was specialised in making polymeric membranes to separate gas. Iran uses a gas separation method to enrich its uranium.

Iran's atomic energy organisation issued a statement, quoted by the country's Arabic broadcaster Al-Alam, confirming Ahmadi Rosham "was working in the nuclear industry".

‘Scientists more determined than ever’


It said "the futile actions by the criminal Israeli regime and America will not disrupt the path the Iranian people have chosen" and nuclear activities will continue.

"This terrorist act was carried out by agents of the Zionist regime (Israel) and by those who claim to be combating terrorism (the US) with the aim of stopping our scientists from serving" Iran, Rahimi told state television.

The foreign ministry also blamed Israel and the US.

The vice president, in charge while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wraps up a Latin America tour, added: "They (Israel and the US) should know that Iranian scientists are more determined than ever in striding towards Iran's progress."

There was no immediate official Israeli or US reaction to the accusations.

‘A critical year'

Media in both countries, though, gave prominent play to the car bombing.

Israeli outlets also relayed comments by Israel's military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, to MPs on Tuesday saying that 2012 was to be "a critical year" given Iran's nuclear drive, international pressure - "and things which happen to them (the Iranians) in an unnatural way".

Three other Iranian scientists were killed in 2010 and 2011 when their cars blew up in similar circumstances. At least two of the scientists had also been working on nuclear activities.

One of the attacks occurred two years earlier, on January 12, 2010, killing scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi.

The current head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Fereydoun Abbasi, escaped another such attempt in November 2010, getting out of his car with his wife just before the attached bomb exploded.

Those attacks were viewed by Iranian officials as assassination operations carried out by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, possibly with help from US counterparts.

Wednesday's killing sharpened an international confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme in which threats and counter-threats are being increasingly backed with militarised displays of muscle.

Threatened ‘full force’ of Navy

Western nations, the US at the fore, are steadily ratcheting up sanctions on Iran with the aim of fracturing its oil-dependent economy.

Iran has responded by saying it could easily close the Strait of Hormuz - a chokepoint for 20% of the world's oil at the entrance to the Gulf - if it is attacked or if sanctions halt its petroleum exports.

It has also threatened to unleash the "full force" of its navy should the United States redeploy an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, where the US Fifth Fleet is based.

The US said closing the strait is a "red line" that should not be crossed and said it would keep sending its warships to the region.

US ally Britain has dispatched its most modern destroyer, HMS Daring, to the Gulf to join other British ships there.

Iran, meanwhile, says it is about to hold more navy manoeuvres in the strait, following ones nearby that ended less than two weeks ago in which, pointedly, three anti-ship missiles were test-fired.

US-Iranian tensions have also worsened following an Iranian court's death sentence this week on an American-Iranian former Marine it found guilty of spying for the CIA, and Iran's capture last month of what it said was a CIA drone.

Tehran's determination to push ahead with its nuclear activities were underlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency's confirmation on Monday that Iran has started enriching uranium at a second facility - its Fordo fortified underground bunker southwest of the capital.

The IAEA two months ago issued a report strongly suggesting that Western fears of Iranian research into nuclear weapons was backed by a lot of evidence.

Iran, though, insists that its atomic programme is exclusively for energy and medical ends, and it has declared itself open to resuming nuclear negotiations with world powers that collapsed a year ago.

Read more on:    iran  |  iran nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
68 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.