Iranian speaker: Terror attack shows enemies' weakness

Larijani says attack that killed a nuclear scientist, injured another resembles "terror measures conducted by the Israeli regime."

November 30, 2010 11:10
2 minute read.

Larijani 311. (photo credit: Munich Security conference)

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned the "terror" attack on two Iranian nuclear scientists, saying it "reflects the enemy's weakness," PressTV reported on Tuesday.

"This incident demonstrates flaws of the enemy and the country's scientific development and makes clear that enemies resort to such actions due to their inability to confront us," Larijani said, referring to what Iranian news station PressTV called a "terrorist attack."

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Larijani said that the attack is similar to "terror measures conducted by the Israeli regime," and told Iranian intelligence to investigate the attacks, which killed Dr. Majid Shahriari and injured Professor Fereydoun Abbasi and his wife.

On Monday, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the dead man, Majid Shahriari, had been involved in a major project with the country’s nuclear agency, although he did not give specifics. Iranian media reported that the scientist had been a laser expert at the Defense Ministry and one of the country’s few top specialists in nuclear isotope separation.

Iranian officials said they suspected the killing was part of a covert campaign aimed at damaging the country’s nuclear program. At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years, one of them in an attack similar to Monday’s.

Israeli officials declined to comment on the reports, but it and the United States have been leading covert efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear drive, according to foreign reports. Israel has been accused in recent years of carrying out a number of assassinations in Iran, as well as sabotaging equipment related to the nuclear program.

Monday’s attacks bore close similarities to another in January that killed Masoud Ali Muhammadi, a senior physics professor at Teheran University. He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed for the first time on Monday that a computer worm affected centrifuges in the country’s uranium enrichment program.

Iran had previously denied that the Stuxnet worm, which experts say is calibrated to destroy centrifuges, had caused any damage, saying its experts had uncovered the virus before it could have any effect.

But Ahmadinejad said on Monday it “managed to create problems for a limited number of our centrifuges.”

Speaking to a press conference, he said the problems had been resolved.

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