Assassins on motorbikes have killed an Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in identical attacks this morning. They drove up to the scientists’ cars as they were leaving for work and attached a bomb to each vehicle which detonated seconds later.
The man who was killed was Majid Shahriari, a member of the engineering faculty at the Shahid Beheshti in Tehran. His wife was wounded. The second attack wounded Fereidoun Abbasi, who is also a professor at Shahid Besheshti University, and his wife.
They are senior figures in Iranian nuclear science. Abbasi was a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, or Pasdaran, and once taught at the Pasdaran-run Imam Hossein University. He was hailed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad three years ago as Iran’s academic of the year.
Abbasi is named on UN Security Council resolution 1747 as being “involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities”. The resolution describes him as a “Senior ministry of defence and armed forces logistics scientist with links to the Institute of Applied Physics, working closing closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi” – believed by Western intelligence to be (or have been) in charge of the Iranian nuclear weapons programme.