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Aftershocks of the News of Another Explosion: IRGC's webite Erred?

By Nima Farahabadi, Rooz Online

Memorial of assassinated Iranian physicist Dr. Majid Shahriyari

The news website belonging to the political office of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) which removed a news report hours after it posted it claims that concurrent with the attack on the two scientists affiliated with Iran's nuclear program on Monday, another explosion took place in the Shahid Mahalati district of Tehran leaving behind a number of wounded.

Mahalati is in north-eastern part of the capital, where many members and commanders of the IRGC and their families live. Two physics professors from Iran's Shahid Beheshti University, both of whom were senior researchers affiliated with the country's nuclear program, were gunned down in two separate attacks in Tehran, killing one of them. In the attacks, Dr. Majid Shahriyari was killed while Fereidun Abbasi-Davani whose wife was accompanying him at the time of the attack, was injured surviving the attack and whose condition is improving.

In the news piece posted by JavanOnline on Monday, the news site belonging to the political office of the IRGC claimed that following the "efforts of the seditionists" to create unrest in the country, a Peugeot 206 vehicle exploded in Mahalati housing complex of Tehran.

The site called the incident a terrorist attack which left two people dead and caused damage to the area where it exploded.

The report ended with the words that "more details on the event would be posted accordingly," but a few hours later the posting was altogether removed from the website.

Meanwhile, Fars news agency affiliated to the IRGC quoted a Tehran police commander hours later who denied an explosion had taken place. General Hossein Sajedinia said, "We have not received any report about an explosion in Mahalati housing complex."

New Speculations

The publication by IRGC of a news report about a third explosion in the Mahalati housing complex resulted in more speculations by opposition websites regarding the two nuclear scientists who were lethally attacked the same day. Some concluded that the posting and then removal of the news of the third attack was an indication that the IRGC itself was behind the attacks on the two scientists, or at the least was aware of them before the event.

The death of one of the victims of the attack on Monday brings the total number of individuals affiliated to Iran's nuclear program who were assassinated recently to three. Last December/January another Iranian physicist by the name of Masoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed by an explosion attached to a motorcycle. At the time, pro-government news outlets, including the national radio and television network, said Ali-Mohammadi was a government supporter and called the attack on him a "terrorist attack perpetrated by counter-revolutionaries and imperialists." News media outlets affiliated to reformers and the green movement on the other hand published some documents to indicate that the scientist was a supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the presidential contender in the 2009 presidential race.

"Futile Assassinations"

Iran's national radio station called Monday's attack on the two nuclear scientists to have been carried out by "missionary agents of the Zionists," while pro-government Fars news agency reported, under the report heading "The US and the Zionist regime today attacked two University professors," that motor-bikers attached an explosive device to the car carrying Majid Shahriyari who was on his way to work, which exploded and killed the scientist.

Memorial of Majid Shahriyari

In another report, Fars quoted witnesses and wrote that the attackers were on two motorcycles who threw a bomb at the car carrying Shahriyari, and then immediately left the scene. The report added that at a location near this incident, individuals on a motorbike used the same method to explode a Peugeot 206 carrying Davani who was injured in the incident.

Till now no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Iran's national radio and television network said in this regard, "enemies" of the Islamic republic who have now witnessed the futility of their economic sanctions now "used the futile method of terrorism," as they have in the past.

As reported by the BBC news agency, UN Security Council resolution 1747 names Fereidun Abbasi-Davani a senior scientist at Iran's ministry of defense affiliated with the physics institute in Iran and subject to travel restrictions. According to Alef website, belonging to Majlis representative Ahmad Tavakoli, Mr. Abbasi was a faculty member at Iran's Imam Hossein University who because of his preoccupations at Iran's ministry of defense, rarely went to the University, but whose records indicate that he was the head of the physics department of the University.

... Payvand News - 12/06/10 ... --

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