Ahmad Vahidi
Photo: AP
Darioush Rezaei

Iran vows to protect nuclear scientists

In light of recent assassinations, Iran to implement safety measures to keep atom researchers safe

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced last week that the regime will increase security around its research staff, according to the Iranian news agency. This is said to be a first step in a series of measures to protect Iran's nuclear scientists.


The announcement is a first indicator that the regime is concerned about the fact that four key individuals involved in the development of the Iranian military's nuclear program were assassinated over the past two years, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.



The latest incident occurred on July 23, when Darioush Rezaei, who was identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a physicist working on the development of components used in nuclear weapon systems, was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran.


Despite international media reports on Rezaei's background, the Iranian authorities claimed that it was a physics student who was mistakenly shot.


The Iranian media reported recently that the assassination was carried out by internal elements, further suggesting that the regime has been shaken by the incident, since admitting that a foreign body was behind the assassination would have caused a bigger embarrassment.


Past blunders concerning individuals working on Iran's atom program include the 2008 execution of Ali Ashtari, a Tehran businessman convicted of spying for Israel. Ashtari confessed to making transactions with Mossad agents.


In January 2010, nuclear scientist Massoud Mohammadi was killed by a bomb-rigged motorcycle parked outside his home. Another nuclear scientist, Majid Shahriari, was killed when a bomb that was attached to his car detonated in November 2010. On the same day, another explosion injured Fridun Abbasi, Shahriari's colleague.



פרסום ראשון: 08.14.11, 12:43
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