Nuclear scientist killed in Iran was their Stuxnet expert
Prof. Majid Shahriari, who died when his car was attacked in North Tehran Monday, Nov. 29, headed the team Iran established for combating the Stuxnet virus rampaging through its nuclear and military networks. His wife was injured. The scientist's death deals a major blow to Iran's herculean efforts to purge its nuclear and military control systems of the destructive worm since it went on the offensive six months ago. Only this month, Stuxnet shut down nuclear enrichment at Natanz for six days from Nov. 16-22 and curtailed an important air defense exercise.
Prof. Shahriari was the Iranian nuclear program's top expert on computer codes and cyber war. .
Another Iranian nuclear scientist, Prof. Feredoun Abbassi-Davani, and his wife survived a second coordinated attack with serious injuries. He is Dean of Students, a key political post at the university ..
Ali Salehi, Director of Iran's Nuclear Energy Commission, reacted bitterly that there is a limit to Iran's patience and whoever committed the murder is playing with fire. Tehran held US intelligence and the Israeli Mossad for responsible for the scientist's death.
Tehran's official account of the attacks is only half-correct, are sources report. There were indeed two motorcycle teams of two riders each who shadowed the scientists' vehicles on their way to their laboratories and offices at Beheshti Basij Forces University in North Teheran early Monday. It was initially reported that the motorcyclists sped past them, attached explosives to the targeted Peugeots and were gone before they exploded.
However, the first photos of the scientists' vehicles showed them to be riddled with bullet holes rather than explosive damage, meaning they were hit by drive-by shooters.
It is important to note that the attacks took place in the most secure district of Tehran, where the top-secret labs serving Iran's nuclear facilities are located. They must therefore have been set up after exhaustive and detailed surveillance.
debkafile reported earlier: The attacks occurred at 7.45 a.m. Iranian time, less than 12 hours after the WikiLeaks organization uncovered US diplomatic cables attesting to a proposal by Mossad director Meir Dagan to overthrow the Islamic regime as one of the ways of terminating its nuclear program. He proposed enlisting oppressed Iranian minority groups for the task, like the Baluchis and their liberation movement, Jundallah.
Our intelligence sources note that this was the fifth attack in two years on Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran. None of the perpetrators were ever apprehended. Some sources suggest that the latest double hit may have been the work of Jundallah, which recently began targeting nuclear scientists serving the hated regime and which two months ago reported abducting a scientist employed at the Isfahan nuclear facility.
Tehran played down that incident claiming the kidnapped man was a driver. But last week he appeared on the Saudi TV station Al Arabiya and described his nuclear work.