Man gets death in killing of Iran physicist

AP News
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Posted: Aug 28, 2011 8:55 AM
Man gets death in killing of Iran physicist

A man was sentenced to death on Sunday in the killing last year of a Tehran physicist, an assassination that authorities blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency, the official IRNA news agency reported.

IRNA quoted the country's prosecutor-general, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei, as saying that Majid Jamali Fashi had been sentenced to death for the crimes of "defiance of God," or using arms against Iran's Islamic goverment, and spreading "corruption on the earth," or damaging public security and order.

Tehran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by a bomb-rigged motorcycle that exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work in January 2010. He had no publicly disclosed link to Iran's nuclear program.

In November 2010, a pair of bomb attacks in Tehran killed nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari and wounded another nuclear scientist.

The wounded man, Fereidoun Abbasi, later became the country's nuclear chief.

Fashi, 23, went on trial Tuesday. He was also accused of cooperating with the Mossad, traveling to Israel to attend a Mossad training course and receiving money from the Israeli intelligence service.He had admitted to the charges in a televised confession and on the day of the trial.

He has 20 days to appeal.

On Tuesday, IRNA said the defendant's first name was Ali. There is no explanation on the discrepancy.

According to the conservative Tabnak news website, Fashi was a member of the Iranian national team in the sport of pankration, which includes elements of boxing, wrestling, and fighting.

Iran claims that the Mossad is out to roll back scientific progress in Muslim nations.

In January, Iran said it arrested 10 people who allegedly had links to Mossad and were implicated in the killing of at least two Iranian scientists.

Israel, the United States and other nations suspect Iran is intent on using its civil nuclear energy program as cover for developing atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge and insists its nuclear work is entirely peaceful.