01/11/2012, 00.00
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Nuclear scientist killed in Tehran, fourth in a year

Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was a university professor and a high-ranking official at the Natanz nuclear facility. He was killed by a magnetic bomb attached to his car. The assassination comes at a time of extremely high tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear programmes.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A 32-year-old Iranian nuclear scientist was killed this morning in a car bomb. Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan is the fourth Iranian scientist to be killed since January 2010. In each case, Iranian authorities blamed Israel and the United States for the attacks but did not provide any evidence to back their claims.

A university professor and a graduate of Iran’s oil industry university, Ahmadi-Roshan was deputy director of the commercial department of the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, near Isfahan, which has 8,000 centrifuges.

He died when his car blew up. Someone on a motorcycle attached a magnetic explosive device to his Peugeot 405. Two other people were injured in the blast.

On 23 July 2011, Dariush Rezaei, a physicist with links to the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), was killed in Tehran by two gunmen on a motorbike in front of his home. His wife was wounded in the attack.

On 29 November 2010, Majid Shahriari, also Iranian nuclear scientist and professor at Shahid Beheshti University, was killed in the capital when someone on a motorcycle, like in Ahmadi-Roshan’s case, attached a magnetic bomb to his car. AEOI chief Fereydoon Abbasi Davani survived a similar assassination attempt on the same day.

Another internationally renowned Iranian nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in Tehran on 11 January 2010 by a remote-controlled bomb.

The latest killing comes at a time when the crisis between Iran and the West because of Tehran’s nuclear programmes is at a peak (see “Tehran sentences US “spy” to death as US-Iran tensions continue to mount,” in AsiaNews, 9 January 2012).

The European Union’s new sanctions against Iran, including an oil embargo, are set to come into effect as soon as possible. Their implementation is tied to finding alternative oil suppliers for countries like Greece, Italy and Spain.

Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal confirmed that the new sanctions would come into effect on 23 January. Alternative oil sources include the “Countries in the Gulf” but also “Libya”'.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attacked Iran today after Tehran announced its new underground enrichment facility near Qom.

"This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime's blatant disregard for its responsibilities,” Clinton said in a statement. The announcement is “especially troubling," Clinton said, because it came only after the facility was already completed.
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