Iran blames U.S. for murder of pro-reform nuclear physicist
January 12, 2010

The United States called “absurd” charges by Iran that it had anything to do with the Tuesday motorcycle bomb blast that killed a prominent nuclear physics professor who publicly backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the June presidential election.

State media identified Masoud Ali Mohammadi as the victim of a bomb-rigged motorcycle that blew up outside his home.

Mohammadi, 50, was a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Mohammadi’s name among a list of 240 university teachers who supported Mousavi.

The government blamed the attack Tuesday on an armed Iranian opposition group under the direction of Israel and the U.S.

Hard-line government supporters called at recent street rallies for the execution of the opposition leaders.

Mohammadi had just left his house on his way to work when the remote-controlled explosion went off, state TV said. The blast shattered the windows of his home in northern Tehran’s Qeytariyeh neighborhood and left the pavement outside smeared with blood and strewn with debris.

State media blamed the killing on the West, which is locked in a tense confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program. One news Web site associated with a prominent member of the country’s clerical leadership singled out the United States and Israel, saying the assassination was probably the work of an armed Iranian opposition group under the direction of Israeli agents.

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