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An Iranian Nuclear Physicist Is Murdered

An Iranian nuclear physicist is murdered
By Glenn Greenwald | Salon

Back in February, 2007, a controversy erupted when University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds advocated that, in response to Iran's nuclear activities, the U.S. should be "killing radical mullahs and iranian [sic] atomic scientists" -- in other words, have the U.S. Government select religious leaders and scientists it dislikes in Iran and just murder them, despite long-standing domestic and international legal prohibitions on exactly such programs.  Today, an Iranian nuclear scientist and professor at Tehran University, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed when "when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle was triggered by remote control outside his home in the northern Tehran neighbourhood of Qeytariyeh."  Mohammadi taught neutron physics and "was the author of several articles on quantum and theoretical physics in scientific journals," though the extent of his involvement in Iran's nuclear program is unclear.

Although the Iranian government has issued a statement blaming the U.S. and Israel for this rather sophisticated and well-executed assassination, there is no actual evidence yet of who is responsible.  It's possible that the killing is related to Iran's complex internal conflicts rather than its nuclear program.  There is, however, ample evidence that the U.S. covertly provides various means of support to extremist groups which have previously carried out violent terrorist attacks inside Iran -- which, in other contexts, is called being a "state sponsor of terror."  In the very recent past, other Iranian nuclear scientists and officials have disappeared and ended up in the custody of the U.S. and its allies -- either abducted or defected, depending on who you believe.

Whatever else is true, this murder of Professor Mohammadi is rather clearly an act of pure terrorism.  As Kevin Drum wrote of Reynolds' proposal: Read more.


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