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Friday, October 3, 2014

Israel Didn’t Assassinate Iranian Physicist in 2007 — Revolutionary Guard did, Sister Says

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, during a tour of
Tehran's nuclear research reactor in Feb. 2012. Iran has long been suspected
of carrying on a covert program to develop nuclear weapons.
When Iranian nuclear physicist Ardeshir Hosseinpour was “gassed” to death in 2007, the finger of suspicion was immediately pointed at Israel.

Now, his sister claims he was murdered by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRI) because he would not cooperate with its efforts to divert nuclear work from peaceful purposes to building an atomic bomb.

Ardeshir Hosseinpour
If Mahboobeh Hosseinpour’s account can be confirmed, it could affect the next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.

Speaking to The Media Line from Turkey via Skype in a conversation arranged by the Iranian opposition group the New Iran, Ms. Hosseinpour, 54, said she learned through her sister-in-law, Sara Araghi, of her brother’s secret research.

This was stored on a DVD, which also contained research and formulae for building an atomic bomb 12 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb and methods for neutralizing it.

Ms. Hosseinpour said in November 2004 her brother was contacted by three special agents working for IRI’s defence department. They gave him a personal message from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, enlisting him to work on increasing uranium enrichment capabilities in order to build atomic weapons.

The nuclear physicist was also asked to teach and supervise Russian and North Korean scientists to accelerate the project.

In return, “he was offered a two-star rank in the revolutionary guard and ownership of factories.”

The woman insists Israel did not kill her brother, but the IRI did. She says this was because he would not co-operate.

Her claims are supported by Alireza Nourizadeh, an Iranian journalist, who says she had been in contact with Dr. Hosseinpour.
The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, seen in 2010.
This included an “email communication he had with me about the sensitivities of his work. [IRI agents] were aware of it, even if they did not have the content.”

After Dr. Hosseinpour’s death, his wife went to his office at Shiraz University and removed the DVD from its hiding place. She also found evidence the room had been searched and items were missing, including a photo of him with then-president Mohammed Khatami. The DVD was later stolen.

Dr. Hosseinpour’s mother, who died in 2011, was also warned to be careful. She was told Ayatollah Khamenei had issued a fatwa, ordering scientists to work on enriching uranium to 20% for the benefit of the Islamic Republic.
Iran also has a missile development program
Dr. Iman Foroutan, chairman of the New Iran, a non-profit organization that is working to overthrow the Islamic regime by non-violent means, said Ms. Hosseinpour’s claims could reinforce Western suspicious of the IRI’s nuclear work and its plans to make atomic bombs.