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Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 in International, Politics, Religion, Science & Technology, War | 5 comments

Risky Profession: Yet Another Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed

What’s a risky business to go into? Apparently one of the riskiest is to be a nuclear scientist in Iran — since yet another one has been killed:

At a time of growing tension over its nuclear program and mounting belligerence toward the West, Iran reported on Wednesday that an Iranian nuclear scientist died in what was termed a “terrorist bomb blast” in northern Tehran when an unidentified motorcyclist attached a magnetic explosive device to his car.

It was the fourth such attack reported in two years and, as after the previous incidents, Iranian officials indicated that they believed the United States and Israel were responsible. News photographs from the scene in northern Tehran showed a car draped in a pale blue tarp being lifted onto a truck. A driver who acted as a bodyguard was also killed, news reports said.

And, indeed, it’s clear there is likely some long range political motive. Unless you acccepted the suggestion that by some coincidence Iranian nuclear scientists just happened to be the ones being bumped off.

Photographs published by the IRNA news agency showed what it said was the body of the scientist still inside the car. The head covered with a white cloth.

The scientist was identified as Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, a professor at Tehran’s technical university, and a department supervisor at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility — one of two known sites where Western leaders suspect Iranian scientists are advancing toward the creation of a nuclear weapon.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but is facing a growing battery of international sanctions designed to force it to halt its enrichment program and negotiate with the West. On Jan. 23, European Union foreign ministers are to discuss a possible oil export embargo, adding further pressure.

Despite those pressures, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said it would not be diverted from its pursuit of nuclear technology. “America and Israel’s heinous act will not change the course of the Iranian nation,” it said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The semiofficial Fars news agency, which has close links to the powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps, said on Wednesday the reported bombing resembled the methods used in attacks in November 2010 against two other nuclear specialists — Majid Shahriari, who was killed, and Fereydoon Abbasi, who survived and is now the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

Almost exactly two years ago in January 2010, a physics professor, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was also assassinated in Tehran.< 'blockquote>
It’s unlikely it’ll ever be confirmed who is behind the killings, but given the fact they most likely slow down Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons, if it isn’t the United States and Israel then these two countries have a good friend somewhere. And this would be a way of slowing the program down that would be far less risky than a military attack on the nuclear weapon development peaceful nuclear power facilities.

SOME OTHER REACTION:

-Yid with Lid:

Vice-Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Kosari blamed the usual suspects the US and Israel, saying said, “In this case the footprints of the Zionists and the world arrogance are seen too.”

The Chair of Vice Mr. Kosari is being a bit too rash. Since the Iranian government claims to be developing their nuclear technology for peaceful use, the CIA and Mossad agents should be very aware of their intentions and would never assassinate a scientist who is developing a way to generate clean energy.

No, this must all be a horrible coincidence….hey accidents do happen and the Iranian scientists should be more careful.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg offers several questions about this story. Here are three of them:

4) Why is Iran so incompetent at protecting its nuclear scientists? This is a perplexing issue.

5) Why is the Mossad, assuming this is the Mossad, so deft at assassinating people in Tehran? It’s a very hard target, Iran, and the Mossad has on more than one occasion bungled assassinations in terrible ways (the attempted killing of the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Jordan is only one case in point).

6) Another question, or something closer to an observation: If I were a member of the Iranian regime (and I’m not), I would take this assassination program to mean that the West is entirely uninterested in any form of negotiation (not that I, the regime official, has ever been much interested in dialogue with the West) and that I should double-down and cross the nuclear threshold as fast as humanly possible. Once I do that, I’m North Korea, or Pakistan: An untouchable country.

Euronews report: