An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in a Tehran car bombing yesterday that Iran immediately blamed on Israel and the US, worsening a tense international standoff over its atomic program.
Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told state television the attack would not stop Iran making “progress” in its nuclear activities.
Iranian officials said 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 scientists over the past two years.
Iran’s parliament erupted with yells of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” after the attack.
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 Web site of the university he graduated from a decade ago, Sharif University.
He specialized in making polymeric membranes to separate gas. Iran uses a gas separation method to enrich its uranium.
“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.” They [Israel and the US] should know that Iranian scientists are more determined than ever in striding toward Iran’s progress.”
Three other Iranian scientists were killed in 2010 and last year 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 exactly two years earlier, on Jan. 11, 2010, killing scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi.
The current head of Iran’s atomic organization, Fereydoun Abbasi, escaped another such attempt in November 2010, getting out of his car with his wife just before the attached bomb exploded.