An Iranian nuclear scientist, and two others, were killed when a blast ripped through his car Wednesday morning. According to the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency a magnetic bomb was planted by an unknown motorcyclist on the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, a graduate of oil industry university who supervised a department at Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province.
The governor of Tehran province, Safar Ali Bratloo, told Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam broadcaster that Israel was behind the car-bombing, pointing to similarities with previous killings of other nuclear scientists. “The responsibility of this explosion falls on the Zionist regime,” said Bratloo.
Futhermore, in what seems more than coincidence the blast took place on the second anniversary of the assasination of Majid Shahriari, a well-known Iranian nuclear scientist who was killed in 2010. An Iranian elementary-particle physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, was also assassinated in a bomb attack the next day. Ali-Mohammadi had just left his home when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle was detonated.
Recently, Iran announced that it had started Uranium enrichment process that makes atomic energy possible. Although, Iran claims its efforts are for civilian use, the IAEA has issued a report citing evidence Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Iran to immediately halt uranium enrichment near the city of Qom. “There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.” Clinton also added: “This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted.”
For its part, Iran has threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz if the United States and its allies continued to sanction Iran. The strait is one of the world’s most important strategic choke points. 14 tankers carrying 15.5 million barrels of crude oil pass through the strait on an average day, representing 35% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of oil traded worldwide in 2011.
In related economic news, Brent crude rose up more than 5 percent since the start of the year to above $113 a barrel, while US and European sanctions have caused the Rial currency lost 20 percent of its value against the dollar in the past week.