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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated by gunmen on motorbikes - 23rd July 2011

A scientist has been assassinated in the Iranian capital, Tehran, the country's official new agency said.

The IRNA report gave no other details, but the hardline news website said the man was a nuclear scientist and was targeted by attackers on a motorcycle.

Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been murdered in recent years in attacks Iran has blamed on the U.S. and Israel.

The semi-official Mehr news agency identified the victim as a professor of physics and said he was assassinated in front of his house in Bani Hashem street in Tehran.

The scientist's wife was injured in the attack and rushed to hospital for treatment, Mehr reported, quoting a police official.

Despite UN and other sanctions, Iran has steadily moved ahead with its uranium enrichment work, the central aspect of its nuclear programme and the process that is of deepest concern to the West because it can be used both to produce reactor fuel and material for nuclear warheads.

Iran insists it is only after reactor fuel, but the UN's nuclear watchdog agency has accused Iran of stalling its investigation into the work for years.

In November, a pair of back-to-back bomb attacks in different parts of the capital killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the US and Israel.

In those attacks, assailants on motorcycles attached magnetised bombs to the cars of two scientists as they drove to work. They detonated seconds later.

The man who survived that attack, Fereidoun Abbasi, is on a list of figures suspected of links to secret nuclear activities in a 2007 UN sanctions resolution, which put a travel ban and asset freeze on those listed.

At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years. Read More