Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed Tuesday in a rare bomb attack in Tehran which state media blamed on "counter-revolutionaries" and foreign powers. Mohammadi, a lecturer at Tehran university, died when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle was triggered by remote control outside his home. Images of the aftermath:
Masoud Ali Mohammad: Bomb Kills Iran Nuclear Physicist Tied To Mousavi AP (hat tip The Mad Jewess)
TEHRAN, Iran — A nuclear physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election was killed Tuesday when a bomb-rigged motorcycle blew up outside his home.
The blast, apparently set off by a remote trigger, left a puzzling mix of clues about why a 50-year-old researcher with no prominent political voice, no published work with military relevance and no declared links to Iran's nuclear program would be targeted.
State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Ali Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mousavi.
Hard-line government supporters called at recent street rallies for the execution of opposition leaders. But Ali Mohammadi was not a well-known opposition figure in Iran.
The government blamed the rare assassination on an armed Iranian opposition group that it said operated under the direction of Israel and the U.S. Iran often accuses the two countries of meddling in its affairs – both when it comes to postelection unrest and its nuclear program.
"Since Ali Mohammadi was one of the scientists of physics and nuclear energy, most probably intelligence services and elements of the Mossad and CIA had a hand in his assassination," the Web site of state television quoted Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabad as saying. The accusation was echoed by the Foreign Ministry.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner denied the charge.
"Any charges of U.S. involvement are absurd," he said. A U.S. intelligence official said the CIA played no role in the bombing death, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.