• 12 January 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • 9 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Israel, Nuclear file

Bomb Kills Nuclear Scientist in Iran

The LA Times reports that Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists was killed on his way to work this week. Adding ambiguity to the death, officials offer various explanations for the explosion. Some state that a bomb was fixed onto a motorcycle near his car while others report that the explosives were in a nearby trash bin, detonated by remote control.

Various sources report that Ali-Mohammadi was an outspoken supporter for Mir-Hossein Mousavi. However, Iranian officials are quick to blame the West and Israel for the assassination, as a reactionary measure to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability.

State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a “revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated” with the West.

According to one nuclear physics student who studied under Ali-Mohammadi, he was killed for his support for the student movement.  Another student believes that Ali-Mohammadi had cut ties with the Revolutionary Guard years ago.  No suspects have yet to be arrested.

UPDATE

Dr. Ali-Mohammadi’s field of specialization is now being disputed; Tehran University’s website lists Ali-Mohammadi as being a professor of Elementary Particle Physics. The New York Times also reports that two Iranian academics spoke out against claims that Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was a nuclear physicist. In fact, Ali Shirzadian, a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Agency affirmed that Ali-Mohammadi has no association with the agency in charge of Iran’s nuclear program.

Posted By Nayda Lakelieh

    9 Responses to “Bomb Kills Nuclear Scientist in Iran”

  1. Publicola says:

    IRANIAN FOREIGN POLICY – PRESIDENTIAL BEHAVIOUR CONTRAPRODUCTIVE

    »State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a “revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated” with the West.«
    (quote from: The LATimes “Iranian officials blame West for bombing that killed top scientist” – January 12, 2010)

    Completely new seems to be the assumption and allegation that the main topic of Iranian foreign policy, »Iran as a nuclear power«, has been and is controversially discussed in Iran. Foreign policy is one important area where there seem to be no discrepancies of opinion whatsoever between presidential, government-official views and the take of »green« movement for more democracy on that issue.

    [Is the »green« movement for more democracy not willingly and readily represented by today’s Iranian power elite as an anti-revolutionary terrorist, foreign-steered and foreign-incited personified manifestation of Satan ?]

    Though the fundamentals of Iranian foreign policy and Iranian long-term interests represent a constant, undisputed and unquestioned within Iran’s political landscape,
    current public presidential demeanour abroad however is felt to be extremely embarrassing, due to the President’s somehow bigmouthed and provocatively simplistic approach.

  2. Publicola says:

    correction – apologies

    “…the fundamentals of Iranian foreign policy and Iranian long-term interests represent a constant, undisputed and unquestioned area within Iran’s political landscape…”

  3. Pirouz says:

    Iranian politics aside- both domestic and foreign- a sad day for the scientific community.

  4. Iranian-American says:

    Perhaps it my Iranian blood that makes me prone to conspiracy theories, but given that the current Iranian government has often gained legitimacy through promoting hatred of other countries (specifically the US and Israel), it would be no surprise to me if the Iranian government assassinated Ali-Mohammadi to deflect attention from its own brutal oppression. Ali-Mohammadi was a scientist that was sympathetic to the opposition. Thus by killing him and blaming the US and Israel, they could foolishly be hoping to unite the Iranian people (both pro- and anti-establishment) against their favorite villains, while at the same time killing someone who supports the opposition. Two birds with one stone…

    I would be more surprised if the US and Israel had anything to do with this. That is not to say that those countries, and Israel in particular, has not (and does not) illegally assassinate people they do not agree with. It’s just that they are typically much smarter about it.

    Iran’s government, unfortunately, is the worst of everything- unintelligent, uncultured and still ruthless. Iran today is something akin to if the late Jerry Falwell’s and Gresham Barrett’s of the US ran every branch of the government. Furthermore (and also consequently), Iran’s government is ruthless to its own people.

  5. Izad Khazen says:

    A sense of detachment from bondage for the scientific community, actually. Pan Iranian stragglers may want to renounce any and all nuclear ambition, privately and in the confines of their independent thought. Being on a State department watchlist is not something to be flattered by. You can hang on to your ‘prince’ and his STDs, but causation of consequence is purely coincidental.

  6. Publicola says:

    “Iran’s government, unfortunately, is the worst of everything- unintelligent, uncultured and still ruthless.”

    That statement is likely – though unfortunately – to be true,
    but –
    what has forced the world to view Iran with deep and utter respect and
    what has inspired deep and profound reverence towards Iran globally
    is the “green” movement for more democracy !

  7. Iranian-American says:

    @Publicola:
    You are very right. I feel a great deal of pride, as an Iranian, when I see the courage and intelligence of the green movement. I must admit though as an Iranian living in America, I would consider it fair for someone to claim that I do not deserve to feel any pride, since I’m not putting my life on the line.

    The ripples of the green movement have been extremely positive. From the China to the US and Israel, good people of the world are truly admiring and feeling inspired by the struggle of Iranians for human rights and basic freedoms. While some fraction of those that claim to support the green movement that have ulterior motives, many people from around the world are genuinely hopeful, concerned and inspired by the Iranian people. This is great to see, especially from countries like the US and Israel whose governments’ have at times vilified Iran (and been vilified by Iran’s government). The potential for this movement goes far beyond Iran.

  8. Publicola says:

    ad Iranian-American

    “I feel a great deal of pride, as an Iranian, when I see
    the courage and INTELLIGENCE [!!!] of the green movement.”
    “people of the world are truly admiring and feeling inspired by the struggle of Iranians for human rights and basic freedoms”
    “many people from around the world are genuinely hopeful, concerned and inspired by the Iranian people”

    Nothing could be nearer the truth, indeed ! – and thank you for your postings that I often feel compelled to agree with

    Publicola
    [writing from/living in Germany]

  9. Publicola says:

    relevant source – informative details:

    http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/2010/01/tehran-university-professor-massoud.html
    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 – »Tehran University professor Massoud Alimohammadi assassinated: fact and fiction«

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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