Iran accuses of West of waging a covert war as magnetic bomb kills ANOTHER of their nuclear scientists
Will Longbottom – Daily Mail January 11, 2012
An Iranian university professor working at a nuclear facility has been killed by a magnetic bomb attached to his car, it has been reported.
The explosion in Tehran killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in the centre of the country, according to Fars news agency.
It is the latest in a series of similar assassinations of Iranian scientists that Tehran has blamed on Israeli and U.S. attempts to halt its nuclear programme.
Witnesses said they had seen two people on a motorbike ride alongside the car and attach the bomb.
Mr Roshan, 32, was inside the Iranian-assembled Peugeot 405 with two others when the bomb detonated near Gol Nabi Street in north Tehran.
A pedestrian also died in the attack and one of the other passengers in the car was seriously injured.
Fars news agency described the explosion as a ‘terrorist attack’ targeting Mr Roshan, a graduate of the prestigious Sharif University of Technology in Tehran.
Deputy Tehran governor Safarali Baratloo was quoted as saying: ‘The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and the work of the Zionists (Israelis).’
A similar bomb attack on January 12, 2010, killed Tehran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor.
He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorbike exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.
And in November 2010, a pair of back-to-back bomb attacks in different parts of the capital killed one nuclear scientist and injured another.
The dead victim in that attack, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and cooperated with the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.
The injured scientist, Fereidoun Abbasi, was subsequently appointed head of Iran’s atomic agency.
Most recently in July 2011, motorbike-riding gunmen killed Darioush Rezaeinejad, an electronics student. Reports identified him as a scientist involved in suspected Iranian attempts to make nuclear weapons.
Mr Rezaeinejad is said to have helped develop high-voltage switches, a key component in setting off the explosions needed to trigger a nuclear warhead.
The West says Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons technology, and stepped up sanctions on the regime in a bid to halt its progress.
But Iran denies the allegations, claiming its nuclear programme is intended only for peaceful purposes.
Yesterday, Israel’s military chief of staff – Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz – said Iran should expect more ‘unnatural’ events in 2012.
‘For Iran, 2012 is a critical year in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community and things which take place in an unnatural manner,’ he said.
Last month, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard upped its combat readiness in a move that sparked fears Islamists were escalating towards major conflict.
That followed the apparent shooting down of a U.S. drone, the ransacking of the British embassy in Tehran and mysterious explosions at Iranian nuclear sites.
On November 12, a large explosion flattened the Revolutionary Guard base at Bid Kaneh, killing 17 people including a founder of Iran’s ballistic missile programme.
A separate blast last month also badly damaged the uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan.
And computer systems at Iranian nuclear facilities are said to have been badly damaged after they were infected by the Stuxnet worm, with Tehran again blaming the West.
The spate of assassinations and apparent sabotage has led many to claim Western intelligence agencies are carrying out a ‘covert war’ in Iran to prevent it achieving its nuclear goals.
Tensions have remained high in the region after the International Atomic Energy Agency produced a report last year detailing how close Iran was to producing a bomb.
The report, published last month, said it was unlikely that Iran’s nuclear programme was being used purely for peaceful purposes
Gantz 2012 will be a critical year regarding Iran
Jerusalem Post – January 10, 2012
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday that 2012 would be a critical year regarding Iran and that there may be more “unnatural” events that happen to them.
Speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Gantz warned that “2012 will be a critical year in the connection between Iran gaining nuclear power, changes in leadership, continuing pressure from the international community and events that happen unnaturally.”
Gantz said that recent international pressure on Tehran was influencing the leadership but this does not necessarily mean that the leadership will decide to give up on the military’s nuclear plans.
Highlighting regional concern over Tehran, Gantz said that Turkey was especially disturbed by the continuing nuclear development in Iran.
Speaking just hours after Syrian President Bashar Assad gave a speech about the protests against him, Gantz said that the Syrian leader would not be able to hold onto his rule for much longer.
“On the day that the regime falls, it is expected to result in a blow to the Alawite sect. We are preparing to take in Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights,” Gantz said.
He said that in the short term, the events in Syria will make it difficult for Assad and the Syrian leadership to act against Israel.
However, Gantz warned that at the same time the weapons systems in Syria exist and are being well maintained.
He highlighted that Syria has advanced Russian weapons including SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which challenge the IAF’s upper hand.
Gantz went on to say that the threat from Lebanon towards Israel has grown in recent years, and is five times bigger now than it was in the past. He also warned that strategic weapons could be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah and that the terror group had weapons warehouses in Syria.
On the relative calm along the Gaza border, Gantz said “we cannot be fooled by this.” He vowed to act to thwart any terror attack that stemmed from Gaza, while he warned that terrorists there were continuing to grow stronger.