Iran slams Mossad for scientist killing

by our Middle East Affairs correspondent

THE IRANIAN government has accused Israeli and Western intelligence of being behind terror attacks in Tehran that killed one Iranian nuclear scientist dead and injured another in co-ordinated attacks this week. The Zionists have once again targeted Iran’s scientific progress by shedding the blood of a university professor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared, but it would not stop the Islamic Republic from pursuing its nuclear energy programme.

The scientists were targeted by men on motorbikes who attached bombs to the windows of their cars as they drove to work. Dr Majid Shahriari was killed and Prof Fereydoun Abbasi and his wife were injured in separate attacks on Monday morning. Both men were professors at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

Tehran Police Chief Brigadier-General Hossein Sajedinia said a motorbike approached Shahriari’s car and attached a magnetic bomb to the driver’s door of the car which exploded a few seconds later. An attack on Abbasi’s car soon followed. The professor and his wife were wounded by the blast but they are now in good health.

At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years in what Iran believes is a covert attempt by US imperialism and its allies to stop its nuclear programme. Iran has been under immense diplomatic and economic pressure from Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism to halt its uranium enrichment programme, which they claim is part of a covert Iranian atomic weapons project.

At a news conference, President Ahmadinejad accused Western powers and Israel of being behind the murder while the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned Iran’s enemies “not to play with fire” while visiting his wounded colleague in hospital.

There’s been widespread condemnation of attack across the Third World. Sitaram Yechury, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), said the “attack on high profile academicians is a crime against entire humanity”.

“The horrifying tragedy is most shocking and disturbing for Iran in particular and the peace-loving people around the globe in general,” Yechury said.

Expressing heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives of the victim, he said that the cowardly and inhuman act should be condemned in strongest terms. “The demon of terrorism is fully armed. Nobody knows when and where it would strike”, said Yechury, who is also a Member of Upper House of the Indian Parliament.

It is generally believed that the hit-men were members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MKO), a one-time leftist guerrilla movement opposed to Islamic fundamentalism that was backed by Iraq during the long war with Iran in the 1980s. The MKO is based in occupied Iraq and it is now believed to be funded by American and Israeli intelligence.

The MKO’s campaign of bombings and assassinations got it listed as a “terrorist” organisation by the international community long ago and it’s been on the American “terror” blacklist list since 1997. But significantly the European Union dropped its prohibition in 2009 and only last week the European Parliament urged Washington to remove the MKO from its list of “Foreign Terrorist Organisations”.