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Mossad killed Iranian scientist: report.

Summary: Israel's Mossad secret service was responsible for the assassination last month of an Iranian scientist in Tehran, Germany's Spiegel Online news website reported this week.

BERLIN: Israel's Mossad secret service was responsible for the assassination last month of an Iranian scientist in Tehran, Germany's Spiegel Online news website reported this week. The killing of Darioush Rezaei-Nejad was "the first serious action taken by the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo," according to an unidentified Israeli intelligence source quoted by Spiegel Online.

Iranian press reports said Rezaei-Nejad was shot five times by a pair of gunmen firing from motorcycles as he and his wife were waiting for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran on July 23. His wife was left wounded.

Iran's state-run media initially identified him as Darioush Rezaei, a physics professor and expert in neutron transport but later backtracked, naming him as Darioush Rezaei-Nejad, an electronics student.

The Iranian government blamed the United States and Israel for the attack, the latest in a series targeting Iranian nuclear scientists who are suspected by the West to be working on a program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies it has such a program and insists its atomic activities are entirely peaceful.

Last week the Associated Press quoted an International Atomic Energy Agency official who claimed to confirm Rezaei-Nejad was a physicist who had worked in the past for the Iranian Defense Ministry on projects linked to nuclear weapons development, including trigger elements.

In a similar attack in November, assailants on motorcycles attached magnetized bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they drove to work in separate parts of the capital Tehran. They detonated seconds later, killing one scientist, wounding another and wounding each of their wives.

Another senior physics professor was killed in January 2010 when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 3, 2011
Words:331
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