Iran on Sunday blamed the US and Israel for the killing of an Iranian scientist. Darioush Rezaienejad, 35, a university professor, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran on Saturday.
“The terrorist action by American and the Zionist regime (Israel) yesterday is another example of the level of their animosity against Iran," said Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani in a speech broadcast live on state TV [IRIB, 24 July].
Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday that Rezaienejad was a physics professor with specialty in neutron physics. ISNA said that the slain professor was an expert with link to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). Meanwhile, Fars News Agency reported that Rezaienejad was also associated with the defense ministry. Based on the reactions by Iranian officials, including Speaker Larijani, and the reports by the Iranian news agencies, the late professor apparently had a sensitive position within the country’s nuclear and defense establishment.
Rezaienejad was killed in front of his house and there are reports that his wife was also injured during the attack.
Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in recent years. Last November, Majid Shahriari was killed in Tehran when men on motorcycles attached a bomb to his car. The current AEOI director, Fereydoon Abbasi, survived a similar assassination attempt on the same day. Another top Iranian nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in a bomb blast in January 2010.