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Bomb Kills Professor Tied to Mousavi

12 Jan 2010 17:2711 Comments
A0626483.jpgLeader's Rep: Safeguarding Islamic government worth sacrificing 75,000 lives

Fars | Jan. 12, 2010

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said today that revolutions take shape as much through the use of hard power and force as through employing soft power. They are toppled by both tactics as well, he added.

Speaking at a meeting addressing soft power tactics, Ali Saeedi claimed that the Iranian revolution took place with the help of soft power while revolutions in Iraq and Syria resorted to the use of hard power.

Revolutions supported by God should be protected in the face of threats; withdrawal was not desirable, he said. Saeedi said the Iranian people defeated rioters and their headmasters with proper insight -- a strength unforeseen by the enemies.

Citing an example that harks back to the time of the first Shia Imam, he said that while many wanted Imam Ali to stand aside and let power be taken over by others, he did not budge. That struggle was worth it even though 75,000 people were killed in the process, he said, condoning the use of violence to maintain an Islamic government.

He said the current struggle in Iran was not between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- the rioters had crossed those lines. He said that there were those who wanted to mediate between the two sides, but they belonged to several groups at the same time whose positions contradicted each other.

Ninety percent of elites were in line, as he put it, and the rest were evaluating the situation. He went on to say that over the past 30 years the revolution had been faced with many [devious] plots [to overthrow it] but it had emerged victorious each time, apparently implying that the present challenge was no different.

Masoud-Alimohammadi.gifBomb Kills Professor Tied to Mousavi

AP | Jan. 12, 2010

A physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election was killed Tuesday when a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a motorcycle blew up outside his home. (Video here and here.)

State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Ali Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mousavi.

The government blamed the bombing on an armed Iranian opposition group that it said operated under the direction of Israel and the U.S. Iran often accuses both countries of meddling in its affairs -- both when it comes to postelection unrest and its nuclear program. Israel's foreign ministry had no comment.

The Blame Game

EA | Jan. 12, 2010

Press TV, after carrying the message of Iran's Foreign Ministry of "signs of the involvement of the Zionist regime [Israel], the US and their allies" in the killing of Professor Mohammadi, rolls out the latest accusation:

A terrorist group, whose radio station broadcast from the United States, took responsibility Tuesday for the fatal attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran.

The Iran Royal Association, an obscure monarchist group that seeks to reestablish the Pahlavi reign in Iran, announced in a statement that its "Tondar Commandos" were behind the assassination of Masoud Ali-Mohammadi.

And very quickly the "Iran Royal Association" denies the allegation.

Trial underway for Baha'i leaders in Iran

CNN | Jan. 12, 2010

Seven leaders of Iran's Baha'i minority went on trial in Tehran Tuesday accused of spying for Israel, a charge their supporters say is motivated by religious discrimination.

The seven -- two women and five men -- are also accused of spreading propaganda against the Islamic republic and committing religious offenses, charges that can carry the death penalty.

"We understand that no observers were allowed in the court," said Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. "We understand that even the lawyers had to argue their way inside the court -- lawyers who, in any case, had virtually no access to the accused for nearly two years."

Canada renews calls for Kazemi probe

CBC | Jan. 12, 2010

Canada's foreign affairs minister is again calling for an investigation into the death of a Montreal photo-journalist in Iran, following news that the prosecutor in her case has been implicated in the deaths of three other detainees.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon also renewed Canada's six-year old demand that the body of photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi be repatriated from Iran.

His statement Monday came the day after an Iranian parliamentary investigation found former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was responsible in the deaths of three protesters imprisoned after last summer's disputed presidential elections.

Mortazavi is also named in the $17-million lawsuit by Kazemi's family for his role in her imprisonment, sexual assault and beating death in 2003. The Canadian government supports the lawsuit.

"Mr. Mortazavi has displayed his disregard for the respect of human rights on several occasions, including during the detention and murder of Canadian photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi," Cannon said in a statement.

"Canada also continues to call upon Iran to conduct a credible investigation into the murder of Zahra Kazemi. The search for justice remains firmly on the agenda in Canada's relations with Iran."

Iran exhausting water resources

Press TV | Jan. 12, 2010

Indiscriminate extraction of water from Iran's underground resources has caused the water table to decrease by 300 meters over past 15 years, an official said.

"Unsustainable development has increased the country's water demand to a maximum level, causing the water level of underground resources sink to its lowest level - from 50 meters to 300 meters," said Parviz Rezazadeh, General Director of Iran's Meteorological Organization.

Rezazadeh blamed both drought and mismanagement for the excessive water extraction, which he said has caused the reduction of the water level that maintains lakes, lagoons and ponds over the past decade.

Faculty and Officers Urge Secretary Clinton's Support for His Release

CSHR | Jan. 12, 2010

Twenty Columbia faculty members and officers signed a letter requesting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton help secure the release of Kian Tajbakhsh from Iranian prison. Dr. Tajbakhsh was found guilty of "political crimes" by an Iranian court on October 20, following his support of the Iranian uprising against the government in the aftermath of the disputed election last summer. He appealed his sentence only to then be accused of new espionage charges on November 23, 2009.

Dr. Tajbakhsh, who earned a doctorate from Columbia in urban studies, was providing nonpolitical urban technical advice as a consultant with explicit permission from the Iranian government. He was scheduled to assume duties as an associate professor of urban studies last fall at Columbia's Morningside Heights campus at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

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11 Comments

He was most certainly NOT a nuclear physicist. He was a PARTICLE physicist.

And he was very much involved with Mousavi’s campaign. He even encouraged people to go out and protest.

http://www.mapopen.com/p/?__new_url=aHR0cDovL2Voc2FuNjMuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLzIwMTAvMDEvYmxvZy1wb3N0Lmh0bWw=

Anthony / January 12, 2010 6:06 PM

Masoud Ali Mohammadi was not a nuclear scientist!He was a particle physicist! You can see here his publications in particle physicis: http://physics.ut.ac.ir/~alimohmd/publics.htm

Farani / January 12, 2010 6:21 PM

Contrary to what the media claims, Masoud Ali Mohammadi was NOT a nuclear physicist. See preprints of his publications here http://arxiv.org/find/hep-th/1/au:+Alimohammadi_M/0/1/0/all/0/1 . He worked in the related fields of particle physics/quantum gravity (generalized Yang-Mills theories on curved spacetime), cosmology (geometrical aspects of dark matter and black holes)and mathematical physics (quantum groups).

He could easily have been working on the nuclear program, but I doubt that he was important scientifically. Because he was not an expert on nuclear physics/technology, and this is more a job for experimental physicists and engineers (not highly theoretical physicists).

But he could of course have had a more "leading" role in the project. Since he was a strong supporter of the opposition, I don't believe he was trusted enough to be given such a job.

Heidar / January 12, 2010 6:41 PM

And here is his personal website http://physics.ut.ac.ir/~alimohmd/ and publications http://physics.ut.ac.ir/~alimohmd/publics.htm . Nothing about nuclear physics from 1993 to 2009.

Heidar / January 12, 2010 6:56 PM

Murder of the Tehran Univ Prof.

This is yet another LOW IQ attempt by the I.R. regime to cause confusion, diversion and division amongst the opposition.

Their other attempt, claiming that Neda's murder was staged by the opposition was so idiotic that if it was not about such a tragedy, it would have been satirical.

I think we are way passed the point that such theatrics would have any effects. However, it is more likely than not, that the desperate regime will attempt further acts of terrorism.

Maziar Irani / January 12, 2010 11:51 PM

Not sure who killed him, but MKO may have made him a target by this claim (in 2004 search for his name):
http://www.iranwatch.org/privateviews/NCRI/perspex-ncri-militarynuclear-042804.htm

MKO claims, it has nothing to do with this (now):
http://ncr-iran.org/content/view/7672/1/

And Israelis could very well have done it (2009):
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064852.html

kharmagass / January 13, 2010 7:16 AM

Let's not forget Cinema Rex!

Cyrus / January 14, 2010 1:53 AM

I found this comment in the web in response to those who claim that he could not have been a potential target due to being a particle physicist or in theoritical physics, and not being a nuc lear physicist.

"The Manhattan project had tons of theoretical physicists working on the program, including Feynman, Von Neumann, and Oppenheimer."

My point being, if you're not 100% sure, don't insist that your opinion is right and that you know for a fact what happened & who committed that act.

Behzad / January 14, 2010 8:08 AM

Behzad,

Nuclear physics was actually very theoretical back then. Now it has a more solid foundation, with well defined scientific roles. Not that there aren't any theorists involved, but looking through some of the docs papers it seems less likely.

Boom! / January 16, 2010 2:52 AM

Behzad,

the time Feynman, Von Neumann, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Pauli, Bohr and so on worked on the Manhattan project was a time where nuclear physics wasn't well understood. Fundamental theoretical work on the issue was needed (particle physics didn't even really exist then).
Today physics has evolved enormously and hundreds of new highly specialized fields has emerged. Professor Alimohammadi was highly specialized in a small corner of high energy/mathematical physics (which is by it self a tiny part of all physics).

Since today no fundamental work on nuclear physics is needed and the challenge is almost exclusively on the experimental part, engineers is what is needed for this task (even the calculations they can easily perform).

Scientifically professor Alimohammadi could only contribute with very few things, which most other physicists/engineers could easily do themselves. And the fact that he has been productive and published regularly, makes it even more implausible that he even had time for a important role.

I'm not insisting my opinion is 100% correct. But with a physicists glasses on, I find it is very unlikely he did anything (in the nuclear project) worth killing him for.

Heidar / January 16, 2010 6:29 AM