Iran’s president accused Israel and the West of being behind a pair of bomb attacks that killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another in their cars on the streets of Tehran on Monday. He also admitted for the first time that a computer worm had affected centrifuges in Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials vowed that the nuclear program would not be hampered by what they described as a campaign to sabotage it — whether by assassination or by the computer virus. The US and its allies say Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, a claim Tehran denies.
The two bomb attacks occurred when assailants on motorcycles attached magnetized bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they drove to work in separate parts of the capital on Monday morning.
They detonated seconds later, killing one scientist, wounding another and wounding each of their wives, who were in the cars, Tehran’s police chief said.
At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years, one of them in an attack similar to Monday’s.
The wounded scientist, 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. The resolution describes him as an Iranian Defense Ministry scientist who works closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, believed to head secret nuclear projects. Iranian media said he was a member of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s strongest military force.