Thursday, 2 December 2010
Iran to increase security measures for its scientists
Iran has said that it will increase security measures for its nuclear scientists, after one of its experts was killed and another wounded in corresponding bomb attacks in Tehran on Monday 29th November.
Speaking about the attacks, the Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi told ISNA news agency that the government has been, “pursuing serious protective measures for hundreds of our scientists and experts since last year and, based on the recent decision, we are to increase protection measures multiple-fold and take other steps as well."
The two bombings were perpetrated by assailants on motorbikes. One of the bombs killed Majid Shahriari, of the nuclear engineering faculty at the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, and the other injured Fereidoun Abbasi, a nuclear physicist described by the UN as being "involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities".
Earlier in the year, another Iranian scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in a similar attack. Iran has accused the West and Israel of carrying out these assassinations, but analysts believe that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard may be behind the attacks aimed as a means to prevent potential defections.
Salehi said that Iran already offered its scientist considerable protection, but that unfortunately the “devilish ways employed by enemies cannot be predicted." He reasoned that the West was responsible for the killings as a means to deprive the Islamic republic of power, saying "The enemy has found that Iran's nuclear work is advancing considerably and has turned into a symbol of power for the Iranian nation. It makes efforts to withhold the Iranian nation from the power, but they made a big mistake."
Additionally, Iran's Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani criticised the West for failing to condemn the attacks, saying "This move by the westerners, who are frequently condemning terrorist acts but have remained silent on the recent assassinations in Iran, is scandalous and disgraceful."
For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.