Twin blasts in Tehran killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist while another sustained injuries on Monday. In separate assassination attempts, bombs were placed under their cars. State media held Israeli intelligence agents for their death. Majid Shahryari, an academician at the engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University, was killed instantly after two men on a motorbike set off bomb under his car. His wife who was accompanying him escaped unhurt.
In a separate incident Fereydoon Abbasi, who worked under the defense ministry, was attacked in a similar attempt and was injured. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Iranian news website Mashreghnews stated that 52-year-old Abbasi held a PhD in nuclear physics and was ‘one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes.’ He had also been a member of the elite Revolutionary Guards since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979.
The victims are reported to have links with academician, Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, who was killed in January this year in a similar blast. Tehran then accused the United States and Israel of assassinating Mohammadi. The latest assassination attempts also come just days after Iran began operations at its first atomic power plant in the southern city of Bushehr.
Tehran claims that its nuclear program was to for peaceful energy needs but Washington and other Western governments dispute it stating that the facility is being used to make nuclear weapons.