U.S. website: Mossad killed Iranian nuclear physicist
Scientist was involved in uranium enrichment at Isfahan facility; other physicists reported hurt, killed.
A senior nuclear physicist involved in Iran's nuclear program who died under mysterious circumstances two weeks ago was killed by the Mossad, according to a report released in a U.S. website this weekend.
The website - Stratfor.com - features intelligence and security analysis by former U.S. intelligence agents.
Professor Ardashir Hosseinpour, a world authority on electromagnetism, was until recently working on uranium enrichment at the facility in Isfahan, one of the central processing sites in Iran's nuclear program.
The physicist died January 18, but news of his death only emerged six days later in two Iranian media outlets.
A report released this weekend in Stratfor.com stated that the Mossad was behind Hosseinpour's death.
The report said the physicist died from "radioactive poisoning" as part of a Mossad effort to halt the Iranian nuclear program through "secret operations."
The site indicates that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Mossad was involved in the deaths of scientists involved with the Iraqi nuclear program. At least three scientists were killed in those operations.
A website of expatriate Iranian communists said that several other scientists were killed or injured in the operation to kill Hosseinpour at Isfahan, and given treatment at nearby hospitals.
The site says Iranian physicians are trying to determine the circumstances of the deaths, and believe they may have to deal with similar incidents in the future.
News of Hosseinpour's death appeared in the Al-Quds daily, published in Tehran, and in a release by the Iranian Students' News Agency.
Both news items said Hosseinpour died from "poison gas."
Radio Farda - a Persian-language station operated by the U.S. government - said several days ago that the scientist died of "smoke inhalation."
The Radio Farda report said Hosseinpour, 45, was considered an expert in the field of electromagnetism and formerly taught in the physics department at Shiraz University. He also published widely in international publications.
Hosseinpour was also recently employed by Isfahan's Malik Ashtar University of Technology. Several departments of that institution have been implicated as being involved in Iran's secret nuclear program, believed to be conducted in parallel with its official, disclosed program.
University Rector Mahdi Najad Nuri, a general in the Revolutionary Guards, was named a month ago on a UN Security Council list of people and institutions whose activity should be monitored for alleged contacts with Tehran's nuclear program.
Scientists at the Isfahan facility convert natural uranium powder to a gaseous state for transfer to the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. There the uranium flows into hundreds of centrifuges, where it undergoes a high-speed process of enrichment.