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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran nuclear scientist killed in car bomb blast

RIA Novosti

12:38 11/01/2012

MOSCOW, January 11 (RIA Novosti) – An Iranian scientist who died in a car bomb explosion in the capital Tehran on Wednesday was the deputy director of the country's largest uranium enrichment plant, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency.

The victim, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, previously named as a lecturer at the Polytechnical University, is the latest to die in a series of attacks on the country's scientific community. Local police sources said a motorcyclist attached a magnetic mine to his car outside the university.

“Engineer Ahmadi Roshan, who received a chemistry degree from the university, worked as deputy director for commercial affairs at the Natanz plant,” reported Iran’s Mehr agency.

Several similar incidents involving the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists have previously occurred in Tehran.

In January 2010 Professor Mahsud Ali Mohamed of Tehran University was killed outside his home. Local police say he died when a motorcycle exploded next to his car as he got into the vehicle.

Local media say he was also involved in Iran’s nuclear energy program and some media cited him as “one of the leading nuclear scientists in the country.”

In November of that year, bomb attacks killed two atomic scientists, Majid Shakhriani, and his colleague Dr. Fereidoun Davani-Abbasi, and injured their wives. In both cases, their cars were attacked by unknown motorcyclists.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the blasts but Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmajinedad has blamed Israeli and Western secret agents for the attacks.

Western nations claim Iran’s nuclear energy research is a cover for atomic weapons production, which Tehran has consistently denied.

Iran has recently begun enrichment of uranium to 20 percent at its Fordo facility as part of its nuclear program, the IAEA said on Monday. Russia said it was concerned by the move, which was condemned by the United States.

Whilst that concentration is thought by most scientists to be too low for an efficient nuclear weapon, it is also a step on the way to developing the purer uranium 235 suitable for a nuclear bomb.

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