A month after the hanging of Majid Jamali Fashi (on May 15), the person an Iranian court sentenced to be hanged on charges of assassinating nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi who had been killed in January 2010, Iran’s ministry of intelligence announced through a statement that it had arrested another three individuals related to the assassination of the country nuclear scientists.
According to the statement, this group is part of a larger group of “mercenary intelligence and terrorist officers” who have been arrested as a result of “monitoring Israeli data and operational bases.” The ministry said more information on the arrest would be provided as soon as security considerations are processed.
The detainee is said to be involved in the assassination of Majid Shahriari, Mostafa Ahmadi Rowshan and Reza Ghashghai. Other than Ghashgai, the other two were nuclear scientists who had been killed in the assassinations of the last two years.
A number of Iranian nuclear scientists, or individuals affiliated with the country’s nuclear program, have been killed by unidentified individuals. Iranian officials have tied these assassinations to Israel and the West. Some Western media accuse Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency to be behind these assassinations and have written that the agency had benefited from the assistance of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
Massoud Ali Mohammadi, Mostafa Ahmadi Rowshan, Majid Shahriari, and Dariush Rezai are said to be among the victims. Fereidun Abbasi, the current head of Iran’s nuclear agency is another person on whom an assassination attempt was made, but he survived the attack.
Mostafa Ahmadi Rowshan was the business deputy of the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility who on was killed because of an explosion in Tehran on January 11 this year. Reza Ghashghai who was with him was also killed.
Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, a university professor at Tehran University was killed by an explosion in front of his house in January 2010.
Majid Shahriari was a physics professor at Shahid Beheshti University who was killed when a magnetic bomb that was attached to his car exploded. On the same day, another physics professor Fereidun Abbasi Davani survived a separate assassination attempt.
After these killings, some Iranian media claimed that the death of Ardeshir Hosseinpour in 2007 was part of the same scheme to assassinate the country’s nuclear scientists. Iran’s semi official Fars news agency quoted international media that he was a researcher in Iran’s nuclear program and a designer of the centrifuges.
Massoud Ali Mohammadi was the first person who after being killed was announced to be part of Iran’s nuclear program. A few months after his assassination, Iranian officials announced that Majid Jamali Fashi was the person behind the killing. The national radio and television broadcast his comments that were said to be his confessions, something that was questioned and viewed with suspicion by independent sources and while ambiguities and questions remained about his involvement in the murders, officials announced that he was hanged. In his televised remarks, Fashi said that he had planned to kill five others and that he had been trained for this in Israel. An Israeli newspaper had written at that time that Fashi was a supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the presidential elections and had been a member of the Revolutionary Guards.
But questions about his involvement continued even after his death. Among these were his passport which was used by officials and pro-state media to claim that he had Israeli affiliations. It turned out that the passport was forged and that the ministry of intelligence had Photoshoped a passport that it had obtained from the Intranet.
With this latest claim by the ministry of intelligence about finding the assassin of the killings, doubts about Fashi’s role in the incidents have resurfaced and the ministry of intelligence has said that it will stop until all those Zionist criminals responsible for the crimes are punished.