AP: Bomb kills Iran physicist tied to opposition leader

Jan 12, 20100 comments

12 January 2009 By Nasser Karimi ASSOCIATED PRESS TEHRAN — A nuclear physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election was killed Tuesday when a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a motorcycle blew up outside his home. State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, 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 Mr. Ali Mohammadi’s name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mr. Mousavi. The government blamed the bombing on an armed Iranian opposition group that it said operated under the direction of Israel and the United States. Iran often accuses both countries of meddling in its affairs — both when it comes to postelection unrest and its nuclear program. Israel’s Foreign Ministry had no comment. Reflecting the internal tension that grew out of the election, hard-line government supporters called at recent street rallies for

Bomb kills Iranian physicist

A bomb blast in front of his house killed Iranian nuclear physics professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi in northern Tehran’s Qeytariyeh neighborhood, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.

Iran’s nuclear work also has put it under pressure from the United States and its European allies, which suspect Tehran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies that and insists its nuclear work only has peaceful aims, such as energy production. Mr. Ali Mohammadi had just left his house on his way to work when the remote-controlled explosion went off, state TV said. The blast shattered the windows of his home in northern Tehran’s Qeytariyeh neighborhood and left the pavement outside smeared with blood and strewn with debris. The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as confirming the killing and saying no one has been arrested. Mr. Ali Mohammadi, who wrote several articles on quantum and theoretical physics in scientific journals, was not a well-known figure in Iran. He was also not an outspoken or visible supporter of Iran’s opposition movement during the months of turmoil that have followed the election, though his name did appear on the list of professors who backed Mr. Mousavi before the vote. That list was published on several pro-reform Web sites in the weeks leading up to the vote. Mr. Mousavi and his supporters claim he was true winner of the June election but fraud robbed him of his victory. His supporters staged massive street protests in the weeks after the election, which met with a harsh government crackdown. The semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted a Tehran University official as saying Mr. Ali Mohammadi was not involved in any political activity.