Man pleads guilty to assassinating Iranian nuclear scientist

A man accused by Iran of carrying out an assassination "sponsored and designed by Israel" has pleaded guilty to the murder of an Iranian "nuclear scientist".

According to Iranian media, Majid Jamali-Fashi, 26, admitted killing Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, a particle physicist who Iran says was involved in the country's nuclear programme,

Jamali-Fashi confessed to having attached a remote-control bomb to a motorcycle parked on the street, which detonated and killed Ali-Mohammadi while he was leaving home for work in January 2010.

But seasoned observers questioned whether it was a show trial intended to cover-up Iran's embarrassment over its failure to protect its nuclear scientists.

The extent of Ali-Mohammadi's involvement in Iran's nuclear programme is still not clear. At the time of the assassination, some expressed skepticism over claims that he was a nuclear scientist, saying that he had voiced strong support for the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the past.

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