Iranian officials blame West for bombing that killed top scientist

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut – A powerful bomb blast killed one of Iran’s leading nuclear scientists this morning in a quiet northern Tehran neighborhood as he was leaving home for work, officials said.

Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, 50, was described by colleagues as a respected Tehran University nuclear physicist. Reformist websites and two students also described him as an outspoken supporter of opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Hard-line Iranian officials immediately blamed Israel and the West for the assassination, which came at a time of heightened tension over Iran’s nuclear program.

State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a “revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated” with the West.

“Considering the kind of attack and previous threats by security and terrorist services close to America and the Zionist regime, probably this terrorist attack was sponsored by those services,” said a report on the news website Tabnak.

The West and Israel have vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear-weapons capability. Iran’s top diplomat last month accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of kidnapping nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who worked for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and disappeared during a summer religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

But Iran is also in the grips of its greatest domestic crisis since the 1979 revolution, with political violence es… >>>

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