The LA Times reports that Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists was killed on his way to work this week. Adding ambiguity to the death, officials offer various explanations for the explosion. Some state that a bomb was fixed onto a motorcycle near his car while others report that the explosives were in a nearby trash bin, detonated by remote control.
Various sources report that Ali-Mohammadi was an outspoken supporter for Mir-Hossein Mousavi. However, Iranian officials are quick to blame the West and Israel for the assassination, as a reactionary measure to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a “revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated” with the West.
According to one nuclear physics student who studied under Ali-Mohammadi, he was killed for his support for the student movement. Another student believes that Ali-Mohammadi had cut ties with the Revolutionary Guard years ago. No suspects have yet to be arrested.
Dr. Ali-Mohammadi’s field of specialization is now being disputed; Tehran University’s website lists Ali-Mohammadi as being a professor of Elementary Particle Physics. The New York Times also reports that two Iranian academics spoke out against claims that Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was a nuclear physicist. In fact, Ali Shirzadian, a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Agency affirmed that Ali-Mohammadi has no association with the agency in charge of Iran’s nuclear program.