NY POST – Iran’s interior government minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar accused the US and Israeli intelligence services — the CIA and Mossad — of killing a prominent nuclear scientist on Monday, state television reported.
“Mossad and the CIA are the enemies of Iranians and always seek to hurt this nation. They particularly want to stop our scientific progress,” he said, after state media reported one Iranian nuclear scientist was killed and another wounded in separate attacks in the capital.
Iran was quick to blame Israel following the twin blasts.
“In a criminal terrorist act, the agents of the Zionist regime attacked two prominent university professors who were on their way to work,” the website of Iran’s state television network reported earlier Monday, referring to arch-foe Israel. “Dr. Majid Shahriari was killed and his wife was injured. Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi and his wife were injured,” the report said.
Fars news agency said the scientists were targeted in two different locations by men on motorcycles who approached their vehicles and attached bombs to their cars.
Shahriari was a member of the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University in northern Tehran, according to the official IRNA news agency. Abbasi held a PhD in nuclear physics and did nuclear research at the defense ministry, the hardline news website Mashreghnews said.
The website said Abbasi, 52, was “one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes” and was a “member of the Revolutionary Guards since the revolution” in 1979.
The reported attacks came a day after the top US military officer said the United States, which is suspicious of Iran’s nuclear drive, was weighing military options in the face of Tehran’s announcement it had a nuclear power plant up and running. On Saturday, Iran said its first atomic power plant built by Russia in the southern city of Bushehr had begun operations, ahead of a new round of talks with Western powers over the country’s controversial nuclear drive.