'Israel wasn't involved in Iran scientist killing'

Peres tells CNN that "to the best of my knowledge," Israel not involved in bomb that killed nuclear scientist in Tehran.

January 13, 2012 11:06
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres

President Shimon Peres_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

President Shimon Peres on Thursday denied that Israel was involved in the killing of a nuclear scientist in Iran on Wednesday. During an interview with CNN, Peres was asked whether Israel was involved in the killing of a university professor and department head of a uranium enrichment facility in Tehran to which he answered: "Not to the best of my knowledge."

"I know that it is fashionable that whatever wrong happens in Iran, it is the United States and Israel. There is nothing new in this approach," said Peres.

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The scientist was killed by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcyclist in Tehran, Iranian media reported, in an incident that looked similar to attacks on nuclear scientists in the city more than one year ago.

The semi-official FARS news agency cited witnesses as saying a motorcyclist stuck a bomb on the side of the car which then exploded, killing one and injuring two people inside. Witnesses told Reuters one other pedestrian was killed in the bombing. FARS identified the victim as Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan. State-run Press TV said he was a university professor.

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According to the FARS report, Roshan, 32, was a graduate of an "oil industry university," and headed a department at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in the Isfahan province in central Iran.   

A local official likened the attack to previous ones against Iranian scientists, and implicated Israel in the bombing.

"The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and is the work of the Zionists (Israelis)" FARS quoted Deputy Governor Safarali Baratloo as saying.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw two people on the motorbike stick the bomb to the car. As well as the person killed in the car, a pedestrian was also killed by the blast. Another person in the car was gravely injured, they said.

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