Assassination of Majid Shahriari

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Assassination of Majid Shahriari
Native name مجید شهریاری
Born 1966
Died November 29, 2010(2010-11-29) (aged 43–44)
Cause of death Assassination
Resting place Imamzadeh Saleh, Shemiran, Tehran
Nationality Iranian
Citizenship Iran
Alma mater Amirkabir University of Technology (Electronic engineering)
Sharif University of Technology (Nuclear engineering)
Amirkabir University of Technology (Ph.D.)
Known for Being assassinated during Iranian nuclear crisis
Spouse(s) Dr. Behjat Ghasemi[1]
Children Mohsen (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]

He was also allegedly Iran's "top Stuxnet expert".[8][9]

According to Time magazine, Majid Shahriari and Aria Tahami were "the top scientist and senior manager of Iran's nuclear program".[10]

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.[11] Shahriari published dozens of esoteric conference reports and peer-reviewed articles on nuclear research.[citation needed]


On 29 November 2010, unidentified assailants 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.[12] The killers had attached bombs to the professors' cars and detonated them from a distance.[11]

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".[13]

Time magazine ran an article questioning whether this action was perpetrated by Mossad (Israel's external intelligence service).[10] According to The Daily Telegraph (UK), Israel allegedly planned to conduct covert operations against Iran,[14] including assassinations.[15]

Tehran nuclear site was officially renamed after him after his assassination.[16]

See also[edit]