Iran Executes Alleged Israeli Spy For Killing Nuclear Scientist

  @AmruthaGayathri on May 15 2012 9:02 AM
Majid Jamali Fashi
Majid Jamali Fashi, accused of assassinating Iranian scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, attends his trial at the revolutionary court in Tehran Aug. 23, 2011. Iranian scientists have been the subject of several fatal attacks over the last two years, with Iran accusing Israel and the United States of trying to sabotage what it says is a peaceful nuclear program. REUTERS

Iran has executed a man accused of being an Israeli spy, found guilty of killing an alleged Iranian nuclear physicist in 2010, Iranian state media reported Tuesday.

Majid Jamali Fashi, who was alleged to be an undercover agent of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, was hanged in Tehran Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported, citing Iranian satellite broadcaster Press TV. He had been convicted of killing Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a 50-year-old physics professor at Tehran University whose role in Tehran's clandestine nuclear weapons program remains unclear.

Fashi was convicted for receiving $120,000 and training from Mossad to murder the scientist, the New York Times reported.

Mohammadi was killed when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work in January 2010. The Iranian government blamed the US and Israel for the attack, which the US Department of State dismissed as absurd.

Iranian media, last year, reported that Fashi had confessed to being a Mossad recruit and that he had forged certain documents in Azerbaijan to carry out his plan.

Iranian authorities consider Mohammadi's killing as one among several attempts allegedly aimed at Iranians working with country's nuclear research. In January, the deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, was killed when a motorcyclist hurled a magnetized bomb at his car, which also fatally injured his driver and bodyguard.

Israel considers nuclear Iran an existential threat and has been strategizing ways for a preemptive military strike on Tehran.

Iranian officials and analysts, meanwhile, say Tehran is more interested in buying time for establishing its nuclear program than reaching a comprehensive settlement.

Iran, so far, has been successful in bypassing the rules set by the West for developing nuclear weapons by insisting that the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Without violating any international laws or the nonproliferation treaty, we have managed to bypass the red lines the West created for us, Hamidreza Taraghi, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

Iran's envoys met with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) officials Monday to discuss the nuclear watchdog's demand to inspect Iran's nuclear sites. Further talks between the US and Iran are scheduled to be held this month in Baghdad.

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