Iran hangs man for killing nuclear scientist | News | DW | 15.05.2012
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Iran hangs man for killing nuclear scientist

Iran has hanged a man who was sentenced to death for the killing of a nuclear physicist in 2010. He was also found guilty of being an agent for Israeli’s spy agency Mossad.

Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged early Tuesday morning, according to Iran's state TV news broadcast.

He had been convicted last August as the main perpetrator in the killing of Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University who was killed in a bomb attack outside his home in January 2010.

Iran's state news agency quoted the central prosecutor's office as saying he had confessed to the crime.

Teheran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work. It was subsequently suspected that he had been working on Iran's nuclear program.

24-year-old Fashi was also accused of being an agent of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad. He had allegedly travelled to Israel to attend a Mossad training course and received money from the Israeli intelligence service.

Tehran has accused Israel's Mossad, the CIA and Britain's MI-6 of being behind the assassinations.

Fashi appealed the verdict but Iran's Supreme Court upheld the execution order issued by a lower court, paving the way for the hanging.

Iran claims that Israel and the US are trying to disrupt its nuclear program through covert operations.

Iran however insists its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only, such as generating electricity and nuclear isotopes to treat cancer patients.

At least five Iranian nuclear scientists, including a manager at the Natanz enrichment facility, have been killed in recent years.

rg/mz (Reuters, AFP, AP)