Iran: Professor's death will be avenged

Ahmadinejad claims Teheran University nuclear scientist was assassinated in "Zionist style."

iranian woman opposition 311 (photo credit: AP)
iranian woman opposition 311
(photo credit: AP)
TEHERAN - Iran vowed Monday to take revenge onIsrael and the United States for the slaying last week of a physicsprofessor in a mysterious bomb attack, the official news agencyreported.

Iranian officials have blamed an exiledopposition group known as the People's Mujahedeen, accusing it ofacting on behalf of Israel and the US The armed opposition group andWashington have denied involvement, while Israel has not commented.

A week after Masoud Ali Mohammadi'sdeath, it remains unclear why the 50-year-old Teheran Universityprofessor would have been a target for assassins who left abomb-rigged motorcycle outside his home on Jan. 12. Ali Mohammadi hadno prominent political voice, no published work with militaryrelevance and no declared links to Iran's nuclear program, though hiswork included some aspects of nuclear theory.

"Rest assured that Iran will takerevenge for the blood of martyr Ali Mohammadi from you,"Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said, addressing Israel andthe US.

"Such a blind move, which is theresult of acts by the Mossad, the CIA and enemies of the IslamicRepublic of Iran's system, shows their weakness." His commentswere reported by the official IRNA news agency.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hasclaimed that the assassination was carried out in a "Zioniststyle," saying it showed their "grudge" against theIranian nation.

Key figures among both Iran'spro-reform opposition and hard-line government supporters havecondemned the professor's killing.

Ali Mohammadi had few apparent linksoutside the academic community.

He was not known to have any key rolesin the opposition movement, although his name appeared on auniversity petition pledging support for pro-reform candidate MirHossein Mousavi before June's disputed presidential election.

Mousavi claimed he was deprived of thepresidency through fraud, triggering months of street protests and aharsh crackdown by the authorities.