Rezaeinejad was killed by motorcycle borne gunmen in July 2011 outside the front gate of the family home, while he was driving home with his wife (Shorheh Pirani) after picking up their daughter from kindergarten. His wife was also wounded in the attack.
Initial reports, including from the semi-official ISNA agency, identified the victim as Darioush Rezaei, a 46-year-old physicist whose area of expertise is neutron transport and is known to be involved in Iran's nuclear program.
However, news agencies later confirmed the victim was not the nuclear physicist, but Darioush Rezaeinejad, a postgraduate electrical engineering student at Tehran's K.N.Toosi University of Technology, who was waiting to defend his thesis. and working at a national security research facility.
When news of the assassination broke, the speaker of Iran's parliament Ali Larijani suggested the United States and Israel had killed Rezaeinejad. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stated, "We were not involved. Our sympathies are obviously with the family of the victim." Rezaeinejad is the fourth scientist "allegedly associated" with Iran's nuclear program to have been killed by bomb, gunshot or poisoning since 2007.
Supposal of relation to the nuclear program
Iranian semi-official press first related Rezaeinejad's assassination to the nuclear program of Iran but Iran's intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, and other officials denied any links between Rezaeinejad and the nuclear program. Later when Ali Larijani, blamed the US and Israel, Moslehi said it was too early to tell.
Analyst Afshon Ostovar writes, "I suspect, just based on what's known in the Iranian media reporting, that Rezaeinejad was assassinated because of his relationship to Iran's nuclear programme".
On the other hand, Rezaeinejad and co-author Mojtaba Dadashnejad had been doing research on high-voltage switches, that are used both in detonators for nuclear weapons and missiles and in many nonmilitary applications.
Claim of Mossad responsibility
On August 2, 2011, German news website Spiegel Online published an article named "Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source", claiming receiving information from "an Israeli intelligence source", linking Israeli Mossad to the assassination of Darioush Rezaeinejad, described as Iranian nuclear scientist.
References and notes
- Koring, Paul (Jun. 18 2012 (last updated); first published: May. 25 2012). "The undeclared war on Iran's nuclear program". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- "Iran: Scientist shot dead in Tehran". (BBC). 23 July 2011.
- AP Photo (24 July 2011). "Photo of the Day". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 4 October 2012. "Iranians carry coffin of Darioush Rezaeinejad, in a funeral ceremony, on Sunday, July 24, 2011, in Tehran, Iran, after he was killed in a deadly shooting on Saturday. Iran said the victim was a university student _ not a physicist involved in the disputed nuclear program as state media first reported. Initial reports said a pair of gunmen firing from motorcycles killed 35-year-old Darioush Rezaei, a physics professor whose area of expertise was neutron transport. Several news reports, including by the semi-official ISNA news agency, linked him to the country's nuclear program. But an investigation later determined the slain man was Darioush Rezaeinejad, an electronics student at Khajeh Nasir University in Tehran."
- "Iran denies assassinated academic worked on nuclear projects" | Saeed Kamali Dehghan | guardian.co.uk| 25 July 2011.
- "Photo of the Day". (funeral) | news.yahoo.com.
- "US denies killing scientist, presses Iran" (AFP). 25 July 2011.
- "Who Is Killing Iran's Nuclear Scientists?" | By MATTHEW COLE and MARK SCHONE | July 26, 2011.
- "Iranian scientist's death 'probably the work of western security agencies'". The Guardian. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- Porter, Gareth (17 March 2012). "How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer". Truthout. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- Jahn, George (September 19 2011). "AP Exclusive: Police investigate Iran nuke expert". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- Ulrike Putz, "Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source", Spiegel Online, August 2, 2011.
- Iranian Nuclear Physicist Killed in Tehran; Mossad Blamed (International Business Times, 23 July 2011)
- (German) Iran: USA und Israel hinter Tod eines Wissenschaftlers (Reuters, 24 July 2011); with picture
- (French) Un physicien nucléaire iranien tué par balle à Téhéran (AFP, 24 July 2011)
- Iran says no suspect of student terror act arrested (ISNA, 26 July 2011)