Assassination of Majid Shahriari

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Assassination of Majid Shahriari
مجید شهریاری
DiedNovember 29, 2010(2010-11-29) (aged 43–44)
Cause of deathAssassination
Resting placeImamzadeh Saleh, Shemiran, Tehran
Alma materAmirkabir University of Technology (Electronic engineering)
Sharif University of Technology (Nuclear engineering)
Amirkabir University of Technology (Ph.D.)
Known forBeing assassinated during Iranian nuclear crisis
Spouse(s)Dr. Behjat Ghasemi[1]
ChildrenMohsen (son), Zahra (daughter)[2]

Majid Shahriari (c. 1966 in Zanjan – 29 November 2010 in Tehran)[3] was a nuclear scientist and engineer who worked with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.


He specialized in neutron transport, a phenomenon that lies at the heart of nuclear chain reactions in reactors and bombs. According to The Guardian, he "had no known links to banned nuclear work".[4] According to Al Jazeera he "was a quantum physicist and was not a political figure at all" and he "was not involved in Iran's nuclear programme".[5]

He was also one of the two Iranian scientists of the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East, beside Masoud Alimohammadi, another assassinated scientist.[6][7]

According to Time magazine, Majid Shahriari and Aria Tahami were "Chief Nuclear Scientist of Iran's nuclear program".[8]

Some Iranian media reports said he taught at the Supreme National Defense University, which is run by the Iranian Army, according to the New York Times.[9] Shahriari published dozens of esoteric conference reports and peer-reviewed articles on nuclear research.[citation needed]


Indoor memorial, with photos and an Iranian flag
Memorial to the assassinated Iranian scientists

On 29 November 2010, assassins riding motorcycles planted and detonated a c-4 bomb on his car door whilst he was driving. He was instantly killed. His fellow nuclear Scientist Fereydoon Abbasi, a professor at Shahid Beheshti University was severely wounded. Dr. Abbasi's wife was also hurt.[10] The killers had attached bombs to the professors' cars and detonated them from a distance.[9]

Iranian officials have variously blamed Israel and the United States for assassinating Shahriari. Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted as saying Western nations "exercise terrorism to liquidate Iran's nuclear scientists".[11]

Time magazine ran an article questioning whether this action was perpetrated by Mossad (Israel's external intelligence service).[8] According to The Daily Telegraph (UK), Israel allegedly planned to conduct covert operations against Iran,[12] including assassinations.[13]

Tehran nuclear site was officially renamed after him after his assassination.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "زندگینامه و خاطره ای از دانشمند شهید دکتر مجید شهریاری".
  2. ^ "زندگی نامه شهید مجید شهریاری". Archived from the original on 2015-03-17.
  3. ^ L.A. Times: "Nuclear scientist killed by bomb in Iran", 30 November 2010
  4. ^ The Guardian: Attack on Iranian nuclear scientists prompts hit squad claims.
  5. ^ "Iranian 'nuclear scientist' killed".
  6. ^ Murdered Iranian scientist linked to UNESCO, Channel 4 News, 29 November 2010
  7. ^ Man pleads guilty to assassinating Iranian nuclear scientist, The Guardian, 23 August 2011
  8. ^ a b "Is the Mossad Targeting Iran's Nuclear Scientists?". Time. 30 November 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Bombings Hit Atomic Experts in Iran Streets". New York Times. 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  10. ^ BBC: Iranian nuclear scientist killed in motorbike attack.
  11. ^ George Jahn (25 January 2011). "Iran accuses West of 'nuclear terrorism'". Associated Press. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  12. ^ Philip Sherwell in New York (16 February 2009). "Israel launches covert war against Iran".
  13. ^ Sherwell, Philip (16 February 2009). "Israel launches covert war against Iran". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  14. ^ "نامگذاری سایت‌های هسته‌ای به نام شهدای هسته‌ای".