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Bomb kills Iranian nuclear scientist

A bomb attack in Tehran killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another on Monday, Iran’s state TV reports.

According to the channel’s website, attackers riding motorcycles attached bombs to windows of the scientists’ cars as they were driving to work.

The first blast killed Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Tehran University. The second explosion seriously wounded Fereidoun Abbasi, a nuclear physicist.

These are not the first attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists. Two others have been killed in recent years.

Iran suspects the West may be to blame and that it is an effort to undermine the country’s nuclear program. Kian Mokhtari, a journalist and broadcaster in Tehran, says that Iran’s Atomic Energy Program is a public organization and the scientists involved with the program are known to the IAEA.

“If you live in Iran, it is a very peaceful place. Nothing much ever happens here,” Kian Mokhtari says. “When this kind of action is carried out, it is generally from abroad and it is carried out with coordination, by their agents who might have been able to get into the country. And the countries that are interested, and are using Iran’s nuclear program to broadcast adverse publicity, are known to the world. And they are also known for their terrorist activities and their proxy terrorist organizations in the Middle East. I can’t expand any more on that, there are interested parties, and I think the world already knows who they are.”

Middle East analyst Meir Javedanfar said that although it has led to a lot of back and forth finger pointing, the assassination could have also been an “inside job.”

“Within Iran, after last year’s elections, there have been more people who doubt the legitimacy of the regime,” Janedanfar said. “It is possible that these gentlemen [Majid Shahriari and Fereidoun Abbasi] were actually supporters of the Green Movement [which calls for the removal of the current government], who were eliminated by the regime.”

However, Javedanfar also emphasized that all options are possible at this point in the investigation.

“What I can say with more certainty is that this is a loss for the Revolutionary Guards [Iran’s military forces], because they are in charge of protecting these people. If it was found that they were members of the opposition and they were eliminated, this shows that there is growing dissent within Iran,” Javedanfar said. “And if it was done by foreign intelligence agencies, then it shows that the Revolutionary Guards’ counterintelligence agency is not doing its job properly.”