website like this http://davepallone.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-screen.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi blamed the attack on “Zionists” and “those who claim they are against terrorism,” not-so-veiled references to Israel and the United States, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.
Two assailants on a motorcycle attached magnetic bombs to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and wounding two people on Wednesday, a semiofficial news agency reported.
The killing bore strong resemblance to two 2010 attacks on nuclear scientists and came on the same day as a ceremony for the third anniversary of the killing of another professor, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, who also died in an explosion.
Iranian authorities likewise blamed the United States and its allies for the previous killings of scientists, saying they were part of a covert program aimed at disrupting Iran’s nuclear research.
Fars, which has close ties to the Revolutionary Guard Corps that is tasked with protecting scientists, identified the slain professor as Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, a chemical engineer. The agency described Ahmadi-Roshan as the deputy director of the Natanz uranium-enrichment facility and as the assistant to the head of procurement there.
Reacting to the killing, members of Iran’s parliament shouted, “Death to America!” and pumped their fists in the air in a show of defiance. Parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee called an emergency session to debate a response to the “terrorist act,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Several officials linked the assassination to parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2, charging that the West is attempting to “provoke riots” ahead of the vote.
“This was a magnetic bomb, like the ones used in previous assassinations,” Safar Ali Baratloo, Tehran’s deputy governor, told Fars. “It is the Zionists’ job. They want to reduce the turnout in the upcoming elections.”
Fars said an assailant riding a motorcycle attached the bomb to Ahmadi-Roshan’s car. It also said the assassination had been caught on traffic control cameras. Another news Web site, Alef, said witnesses heard gunshots right before the explosion.
Most Iranian scientists involved in the country’s controversial nuclear program are protected by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Security for scientists was ramped up following the November 2010 attacks, in which one scientist, Majid Shahriari, was killed, and another, Fereydoun Abbasi, the current head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was wounded.
The site of Wednesday’s explosion, in the Seyed Khandan neighborhood of northern Tehran, was cordoned off by nervous security forces, who stopped bystanders and searched their pockets and backpacks. There were no signs of broken windows.
The exploded car, a locally made Peugeot 405, was quickly removed. Images of the aftermath showed the car being lifted on a truck, its rear windows covered by plastic.