July 26, 2011 / 12:30 PM / 8 years ago

Factbox: New killing of scientist in Iran

(Reuters) - July 26 (Reuters) - An Iranian scientist killed Saturday was the third such murder since 2009.

Here are some details on scientists in Iran and events linked to them over the last two years:

June 2009:

— Shahram Amiri said he was kidnapped in June 2009 when on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and transferred to the United States. He said he was offered $50 million to remain in America and “to spread lies” about Iran’s nuclear work.

— Before his disappearance, Amiri worked at Iran’s Malek Ashtar University, an institution closely connected to the country’s Revolutionary Guards. Tehran initially refused to acknowledge Amiri’s involvement in Iran’s nuclear program.

— Shahram Amiri returned to Tehran in July 2010. Washington denied kidnapping Amiri and insisted he had lived freely in the United States.

January 2010:

— Nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed by a remote-controlled bomb in Tehran on January 12. Some opposition websites said he had backed moderate candidate Mirhossein Mousavi in the 2009 disputed presidential election that secured President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s return to power.

— Iranian officials have described the slain professor as a nuclear scientist but a spokesman said he did not work for the Atomic Energy Organization. He lectured at Tehran University.

— Western sources said the physics professor worked closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi and Fereydoun Abbassi-Davani, both subject to U.N. sanctions because of their work on suspected nuclear weapons development.

— A list of Ali-Mohammadi’s publications on Tehran University’s website suggested his specialism was theoretical particle physics, not nuclear energy, a Western physics professor said.

November 2010:

* Two car bomb blasts killed an Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in Tehran on November 29 in what Iranian officials called an Israeli or U.S.-sponsored attack on its atomic program.

— Majid Shahriyari was killed and his wife was injured. Iran’s atomic energy agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Shahriyari had a role in one of its biggest nuclear projects, but did not elaborate, the official news agency IRNA reported. He was a lecturer at Shahid Beheshti University.

— In the other blast Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and his wife were both wounded. Abbasi-Davani, head of physics at Imam Hossein University, has been personally subjected to U.N. sanctions because of what Western officials said was his involvement in suspected nuclear weapons research.

— Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi later said: “This terrorist act was carried out by intelligence services such as the CIA, Mossad and the MI6. A group that wanted to carry out a terrorist act but did not succeed, was also arrested. They confessed that they were trained by these intelligence services.”

— In February 2011 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani as vice-president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization, Fars news agency reported.

July 2011:

* Physicist Darioush Rezaie, 35, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran on July 23. The university lecturer had a PhD in physics. Deputy Interior Minister Safarali Baratlou said he was not linked to Iran’s nuclear program after early reports in some media said he was.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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