Another Iranian Nuclear Scientist Shot Dead

By Jeffrey Goldberg

This has to be the world's most dangerous profession:

VIENNA (AP) -- A man shot dead on a Tehran street by motorcycle-riding gunmen last weekend was a scientist involved in suspected Iranian attempts to make nuclear weapons and not a student as officially claimed, a foreign government official and a former U.N. nuclear inspector have told The Associated Press.

The man was shot Saturday by a pair of gunmen firing from motorcycles in an attack similar to recent assassinations of two nuclear scientists that Iran blames on the United States and Israel. State-run media initially identified him as Darioush Rezaei, a physics professor and expert in neutron transport, but backtracked within hours, with officials subsequently naming him as Darioush Rezaeinejad, an electronics student.

An official -- from a member nation of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency -- verified that the victim was named Darioush Rezaeinejad, but said he participated in developing high-voltage switches, a key component in setting off the explosions needed to trigger a nuclear warhead. An abstract seen by the AP and bearing the name Darioush Rezaeinejad as a co-author appears to back that claim.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/another-iranian-nuclear-scientist-shot-dead/242747/