The recent WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables reveals just how agitated governments in the Middle East are about Iran's bomb program. Neither Arabs nor Israelis want the Iranians to get nuclear weapons. But I don't suppose they can work together on this one...
Physics World: Academics in Iran have been left in a state of critical fear following the murder in Tehran yesterday of nuclear physicist Majid Shahriari and the attempted assassination of another nuclear researcher, Fereydoon Abbasi.
The separate attacks occurred yesterday morning and both were carried out by unidentified assailants on motorbikes who attached explosives to the victims' vehicles as they travelled through the capital. Both scientists were based in the faculty of nuclear engineering at the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and they are both said to be key figures in Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, immediately blamed the attacks on foreign enemies saying that "undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved". As yet, however, no nation or group has claimed responsibility.
"Everyone is shocked. Programmed assassination of scientists is the last thing we could imagine," says Reza Mansouri, a cosmologist at Sharif University in Tehran and a former Iranian deputy science minister. He confirmed that the widely held view in Iran is that this attack was carried out by foreign agents.