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Iran: Israel has assassinated 3 nuclear scientists

NICOSIA — Iran has reported a Western plot to target nuclear scientists.


Officials said Israel and the United States appeared to be cooperating in identifying and targeting Iranian nuclear scientists. They said Israel was believed responsible for the killing of at least three Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007.

"The more crimes Israel and the United States commit, the higher the speed of Iran's scientific move will be," Iranian deputy parliamentary speaker Mohammed Hassan Abu-Torabifard said.

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On Nov. 29, unidentified motorcyclists detonated the cars of two Iranian nuclear scientists in Teheran. One of the scientists, identified as Majid Shahriari, was killed, and another, Fereidoun Abbasi, was said to have been seriously injured, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Assassination of the Iranian scientists by enemies indicates a fear of the country's progress towards independence," Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Najar, who blamed Israel for the killings, said.

Both Iranian targets were described as university instructors. Officials did not say whether they worked in Iran's nuclear program.

Officials blamed Israel for the attacks. Several days later, Iran reported the arrest of several suspects.

"This violated all rules of human behavior," the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

Abbasi was said to have been a laser specialist at the Iranian Defense Ministry. A pro-government Web site,, asserted that Abbasi, a veteran of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was an expert in nuclear isotope separation. Shahriari was identified as a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University.

The latest strike was said to have been similar to a January assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist. Masoud Ali Mohammadi was identified as a physics professor at Teheran University.

Israel was also blamed for the killing of another nuclear scientist in 2007. Ardeshir Hosseinpour was said to have died from gas poisoning. and Iran concealed his death for one week.

"By God, if such a thing happens again, we will put each of the UN Security Council permanent members on trial," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. "They falsely think that if they take nuclear scientists or other scientists from us, the progress of the Iranian nation will be stopped. Intelligence forces will completely guard the scientists."

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