Two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and wounding two people on Wednesday, a semiofficial news agency reported.
The attack in Tehran bore a strong resemblance to earlier killings of scientists working on the Iranian nuclear program. It is certain to reinforce authorities’ claims of widening clandestine operations by Western powers and allies to try to cripple nuclear advancements.
The bomb killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported. Natanz is Iran’s main enrichment site, but officials claimed earlier this week that they are expanding some operations to an underground site south of Tehran with more advanced equipment.
Roshan was involved in building polymeric layers for gas separation, which is the use of various membranes to isolate gases. He was also deputy director of Natanz uranium enrichment plant, in central Iran, for commercial affairs. According to conservative news website, mashreghnews.ir, Roshan was in charge of purchasing and supplying equipment for Natanz enrichment facility.
A similar bomb explosion on Jan. 12, 2010, killed Tehran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor. He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.
In November 2010, a pair of back-to-back bomb attacks in different parts of the capital killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another.
The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and cooperated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. The wounded scientist, Fereidoun Abbasi, was almost immediately appointed head of Iran’s atomic agency.
And in July 2011, motorcycle-riding gunmen killed Darioush Rezaeinejad, an electronics student. Other reports identified him as a scientist involved in suspected Iranian attempts to make nuclear weapons.
Rezaeinejad allegedly participated in developing high-voltage switches, a key component in setting off the explosions needed to trigger a nuclear warhead.
The United States and other countries say Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons technology. Iran denies the allegations, saying that its program is intended for peaceful purposes.
Ain’t a lot of peace breaking out at the moment and I suspect even less peace in the future.