UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran charged on Thursday that assassins who killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran last week may have used information obtained from the United Nations.
Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, was killed by a motorbike hitman who put a magnetic bomb on his car on a street during the morning rush hour on January 11. Iran, at odds with Western governments over its nuclear program, has accused U.S. and Israeli agents of being behind the killing.
Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador Eshagh Al Habib said there was a “high suspicion that ... terrorist circles used the intelligence obtained from United Nations bodies, including the sanctions list of the Security Council and interviews carried out by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) with our nuclear scientists, to identify and carry out their malicious acts.”
Ahmadi-Roshan recently met with IAEA inspectors, Al Habib told the Security Council, “a fact that indicates that these U.N. agencies may have played a role in leaking information on Iran’s nuclear facilities and scientist.”
He also accused the world body of failing to observe secrecy over its inspections of nuclear facilities.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said he was looking into the allegations. The Vienna-based IAEA is the U.N. nuclear watchdog and has played a key role in trying to determine whether Tehran’s atomic program has military dimensions.
The murder of Ahmadi-Roshan was the fifth daylight attack in two years on technical experts involved in Iran’s nuclear program, which Western countries believe is aimed at producing an atomic weapon but Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.
The United States has denied involvement in the killing and has condemned it, as has U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. An Israeli minister also said this week that Iran’s charges of Israeli involvement were “completely baseless.”
The Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear activities. Its list of sanctioned individuals does not include Ahmadi-Roshan, but does name another scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, wounded in a Tehran car bomb blast in November, 2010.
Al Habib, addressing a Security Council debate on justice and the rule of law, said it was “odd” that the council had said nothing about attacks on Iranian scientists. “Is it the way to advance the rule of law at the international level?” he asked.
Reporting By Soren Larson and Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Philip Barbara