Iran scientist killing: More questions than answers
BBC
13-Jan-2010 (21 comments)

The BBC's Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, looks at the questions raised by the death of an Iranian physics specialist in a bombing on Tuesday.

According to the Iranian media, Masoud Ali Mohammadi was a nuclear scientist, assassinated by counter-revolutionaries, Zionists and agents of the "global arrogance".

The implication is clear - his killing was a Western plot to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme.
But from the start, there were many curious anomalies.

Iranian media were unusually quick off the mark to report the killing, to show television pictures, and to give the sort of details that usually only emerge after hours, days, or weeks in this secretive state.

The state broadcaster described Dr Mohammadi as a "committed and revolutionary" professor - a strange tribute to emerge so soon.
He was also described as a nuclear scientist.

Official and semi-official media blamed counter-revolutionaries, Zionists and agents of the "global arrogance" - Iran's usual term for its enemies in the West.

And a reporter for a government-owned newspaper told the BBC the scientist's death was likely to be a setback for the Iranian nuclear programme - another strange comment in a country where defiance is usually the rule.

But scientists in Britain and the United States pointed out that, from his substantial body of published research, Dr Mohammadi was most unlikely to have been working on Iran's nuclear programme.

His exp... >>>

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Fouzul Bashi

Prof Sahimi's article

by Fouzul Bashi on

Prof Sahimi's article is brilliant and informative on this issue.  I think the killing is to teach a lesson and to terrorise Bolshie university teachers and others who have a standing and popularity amongst people, meaning 'we are not worried about a backlash, we kill you like a fly if you step out of line'.  

BTW, having supported the Islamic Revolution does not mean supporting Ahmadi-Nedjad.  Those who remained faithful to the principles of the Revolution are fighting now for democratic rights in Iran.  


Mammad

Abarmard

by Mammad on

All evidence suggests that Professor Ali-Mohammadi was murdered by internal groups. I agree that the possibility that a foreign intelligence agency might have been involved cannot be completely ruled out, but as I see it, the probability is essentially zero. He was not, as Dr. Ardeshir Hassanpour was, involved in Iran's nuclear program. He did go to Jordan which is certainly watched by Israel, but that still is not evidence for me at this point.

In the past I have written on Iranian scientists and engineers being assassinated by outsiders, but this one looks very much like an internal work. The fact that the method of assassination is so different from the "usual practice" of such acts in Iran means, in my opinion, that whoever did it did it this way just to give it an outside look.

All the propaganda about him being a supporter of Ahmadinejad is nonsense. He supported the Revolution, but had supported the reformists for years, and had told his students not to be afraid of bullets.

 

 

Mammad


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Dr. Sahimi's article

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

I just read it. Thanks for posting the link. It confirms my suspicion that IRR was involved.


vildemose

Who murdered Prof.

by vildemose on

Who murdered Prof. Ali-Mohammadi? by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

According to a statement that was issued by a group of physics students at the University of Tehran, Professor Ali-Mohammadi was one of the leading academics who stormed the University Chancellor's office to demand an investigation into the June 15 attack on the university when several students were murdered and many more were injured.

Several other students have stated that Professor Ali-Mohammadi had organized debates on the national crisis at the University of Tehran. He had apparently told his students that "they" [the hardliners] had ordered him to put an end to such activities, but that he was going to press on despite their demands. The last of such debates had occurred on January 5, in which he had urged students to come up with a scientific and practical solution to the Iranian crisis. All of his speeches have reportedly been recorded and can be used as evidence to refute the hardliner's propaganda that he was one of them.

There is also precedence for the assassination of leading figures in Iran's nuclear program and missile industry. In July 2001, Col. Ali Mahmoudi Mimand, known as the father of Iran's missile program, was found dead in his office; he had been shot in the head. Dr. Ardeshir Hassanpour, a prominent and award-winning figure in Iran's nuclear program, was murdered on January 15, 2007. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israel's Mossad had murdered Dr. Hassanpour.

In fact, Professor Ali-Mohammadi went to Jordan last summer as Iran's representative to the Synchrotron Radiation Center, an atomic research center undoubtedly on the Israeli's radar. Unlike Ali-Mohammadi however, the other two who were assassinated were leading Iran's efforts in important areas. But Professor Ali- Mohammadi was apparently not involved with Iran's nuclear program at all. His research was in the general area of particle physics, which is of a fundamental, rather than practical nature. He was also not affiliated with the IRGC-controlled universities, namely Malek-e Ashtar and Emam Hossein universities. Ali Shirzadian, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, denied that Professor Ali-Mohammadi was under contract there.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/01/who-murdered-prof-ali-mohammadi.html


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

vildemose re: Dr. Sahimi's article??

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

No I have not had a chance yet. Plan to sometime today. Maybe that will clear things up for me. Just been really busy.


vildemose

VPK: Did you read Dr.

by vildemose on

VPK: Did you read Dr. Sahimi's article??


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Abarmard

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

Since we all hate the MKO :-) and they do have motive they are a good punching bag. Honestly I don't know who murdered Professor  Mohammadi but there are plenty of suspects.

If IRI or anyone really wants to know there would have to be an unbiased investigation. That ain't likely to happen any time soon. Maybe with a new leadership in Iran.


Abarmard

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

by Abarmard on

You are right:)

For fun, I wonder if VOA had brought the idea that this guy was shot by MKO, how many individuals here would still argue against that!


Abarmard

Onlyiran

by Abarmard on

During Soviet era, many Scientists were assassinated or had taken hostage. The fact that none of those would have meant the soviet system would collapse or their scientific programs would slow down, why did
they do it?

Your answer is there.

NOTE: Recently H Clinton had said that some of the Iranian officials should be on the list of sanctions. If you are a scientist, government
official or in the case of Iranian hostages taken by the Americans in
Iraq, a petty diplomat, your life is in danger.


Onlyiran

Abarmard

by Onlyiran on


here's my comment from another thread on the subject: 

 

Even Leverette's statement supports

by Onlyiran on 

the theory that the IRI was behind this assassination.  If you listen to him talk on Worldfocus (see link provided by Vildemose below), you will hear him say (toward the end of the interview) that killing this professor will have a very marginal effect on IRI's nuclear program.  So the question that one should ask oneself is this:  why would a foreign country go through all this trouble to kill this guy, with a bomb, in broad daylight, when doing so would only have a negligible effect on the nuclear program?  A simple cost / benefit analysis will result in a decision not to go forward with the plan.  

On the other hand, the benefits for the IRI would be immense.  They get rid of a scientist who is sympathetic to the opposition (and probably knew something about their program that he could expose) and at the same time get the justification that they need to crack down harder on the protesters and create a "security atmosphere".  

Lastly, the fact that they came out immediately and accused the usuals suspects, without any investigation, and cleaned up the "crime scene", again immediately, are tell tale signs of a well orchestrated, previously planned operation. 

The overwhelming evidence points the finger at the IRI.  


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Abarmard

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

"Chizi keh ayaan ast che hajat beh bayaan ast?"

Ayaan nist agah jan. Ageh bood ke maha in gadar jaar o bahs nemi kardim.


Abarmard

I can see motive from some coutnries

by Abarmard on

But I can't see any motive from Iranian system to kill him. If it doesn't make any sense perhaps it's not true.

Here is what we know, many countries have assassinates oppositions to turn the political pole for their favor. In Iran also we have record of such meddling. In India British used to bring pigs in the Muslim temples and blame it on Hindus.

These kinds of actions are normal. However West has not been shy to declare plans for regime change. This specific case follows the missing Iranian scientist in Mecca from Israeli based Terror group also known as Musad. The message is clear, if you are a scientist and work against the will of the West (read Israel), you will be vanished by any means.

It is puzzling to see Mr. Sahimi trying hard to makeup something that otherwise seems clear. There is no objective other than slowing Iranian Nuclear program by these kinds of terror. Mr. Sahim should know better. I see him a part of this drive.

Mr. Sahimi must first answer this: Where is the other Iranian scientist captured by SA based on Israeli informants?

"Chizi keh ayaan ast che hajat beh bayaan ast?"


Shifteh Ansari

Abarmard

by Shifteh Ansari on

In just 24 hours, so much information has surfaced to refute what was said about the victim in IRI's initial statement, or at least cast doubt about it.  You will need to see these before we can proceed in our discussion.  I do believe that you honestly think Israel had something to do with this.  Will you take a look at the following articles and we can talk again?
1.  From PBS by Dr. Muhammad Sahimi, as recommended by vildemose:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbure...
2.  From Rooz Online by Nazanin Kamdar:
http://www.roozonline.com/persian/news/newsitem/ar...
3.  From International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran:
http://persian.iranhumanrights.org/1388/10/terror/


Ali9 Akbar

curious facts about the case

by Ali9 Akbar on

"But from the start, there were many curious anomalies.

Iranian media were unusually quick off the mark to report the killing, to show television pictures, and to give the sort of details that usually only emerge after hours, days, or weeks in this secretive state.

The state broadcaster described Dr Mohammadi as a "committed and revolutionary" professor - a strange tribute to emerge so soon.

He was also described as a nuclear scientist."

 

that does seem QUITE STRANGE that such an eloquent discription was reported by the IRI media in such SHORT notice...

and the details of the asassination were gleaned by the local police...

The FBI would not have such details so QUICKLY


vildemose

Abarmard: You have

by vildemose on

Abarmard: You have consistently justified, excused, and rationalized the unspeakable crimes pepetrated by the regime over 30 years. Why do you think you have been doing this?? What are you trying to achieve??


vildemose

Abarmard: He was not pro VF.

by vildemose on

Abarmard: He was not pro VF. Read Dr. Sahimi's article. You're too quick to parrot regime's propaganda...


Abarmard

Shifteh Ansari

by Abarmard on

I believe there are lot of noises in the Western media about who killed this great Iranian scientist. However killing a pastor or a politician is very different than an individual who is pro Velayat e faghih and believes in the system, who is also one of the most intelligent individual at the service of the Islamic Republic. Please make a note of it.

I believe that Israel (most probably with the help of MKO) were involved in this murder.

From this point on, if Mousavi or Karubi get killed, Iranians will think twice before blaming the government as all these could be a part of 400 million dedicated to create uncertainty in the Iranian soil. we must also condemn the US dedicating this fund for terrorist activities inside Iran.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Who done it?

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

Abarmard and others. I too condemn all terrorist actions whether by governments or individuals. 

However I see no evidence that Israel did it. Did they have a motive: maybe. I still do not see how killing a Theoretical Particle Physicist will slow down Iran's nuclear work. If Israel just want to cause trouble they could have picked  a political figure.

Focusing on one suspect is a sure way to miss the boat. What if it was not Israel? A real investigation will focus on all suspects not just one. 

Plus IRI had plenty of motives too.  It sounds like Masoud Ali was supporting the student.The IRI desperately wants to divert attention from its wobbly situation. That is plenty motive to commit this act then blame it on "foreigners".

In short IRI's motives are: Inflame people's passions and get an extension on their sorry regime.


vildemose

Who killed Masoud Ali

by vildemose on


Shifteh Ansari

Abarmard

by Shifteh Ansari on

I condemn ALL terrorist acts.  I most vehemently condemn all state-sponsored terrorist acts which are funded by unsuspecting citizens' tax money and most often without their knowledge or consent. 

Islamic Republic of Iran has committed many acts of state-sponsored terrorism against its own citizens inside and outside Iran.  Murders of opposition figures outside Iran and chain murders of Iranian intellectuals inside Iran have only been a few of the ones we know about.  

Tell me what the focus should be when a suspicious incident happens and people have questions about the way the government is portraying it?

A university professor is dead and most of what the government is saying about him is not checking out, e.g. he was a nuclear scientist, a person of interest to those who wish to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.  He was not such a scientist.  He wasn't in Iran's nuclear program.  Why is such a big deal made out of something that isn't true?

Abarmard, if you can, please go back and see how Saeed Emami murdered a man name Priest (Pastor?) Dibaj and cut him into pieces and put him in a freezer.  Dibaj was not only a converted Christian himself, he had helped convert several Muslims to Christianity.  If you follow that story, you will see that the incident was blamed on MKO members, who, while confessing to the crime on TV, also confessed to having planted a bomb at Imam Reza Shrine in Mashad, another thing Saeed Emami had done himself as well.

When a government loses people's trust through repeated abuses and lies, it is hard to trust it anymore. 

 

 


Abarmard

Not that curious

by Abarmard on

There is a enough motives from Israel, let's focus on that instead of shifting the attention. Condemn terrorist act regardless of who has done it.