BREAKING NEWS: Bomb blast kills Iranian physicist

Masoud Ali Mohammadi

Dr. Mohammadi

Iran’s state broadcaster has said a government physicist was “martyred” earlier this morning in a suspicious blast outside his home. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency reports that police forces have sealed off the area around the Tehran residence of Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, whom it described as a “dedicated revolutionary professor”. Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was reportedly killed by a remotely controlled explosive device that was planted at the entrance of his residence. Iranian officials hint that the remnants of the device point to the work of “outside intelligence agencies”, and some implicate the Mossad. But it is too early to draw conclusions about the assassination. The BBC reports that, according to British nuclear scientists, Dr. Ali-Mohammadi’s research was not directly related to nuclear weaponization. Moreover Iran’s opposition claims Ali-Mohammadi was a supporter of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 election. On the other hand, the CIA’s covert program targeting the Iranian nuclear physics community, which, according to The New York Times began in 2008, is well known. There is also intense speculation among intelligence observers about what sources describe as a covert “decapitation program” of Iran’s nuclear program by Israeli intelligence, which allegedly includes bribing and assassinations Iranian scientists, such as that of Ardeshire Hassanpour in 2007. Last October, Iran’s foreign minister accused American and Saudi Arabian intelligence agencies of complicity in the disappearance of another Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri. As intelNews reported last month, Amiri, a senior figure in the Iranian nuclear research program, secretly briefed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Frankfurt, Germany, before they traveled to Iran to inspect a previously undeclared Iranian nuclear facility near the city of Qum.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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