ISTANBUL, Turkey — A car bomb that went off in a northern Tehran neighborhood killed an Iranian official working at a nuclear facility on Wednesday.
Unidentified men on a motorcycle allegedly placed a magnetic bomb on the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, an academic overseeing a project at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
The blast also injured two other Iranians when it went off in the Seyed Khandan neighborhood of Tehran, according to Fars. The official state news agency, Islamic Republic News Agency reported that both Roshan and the other injured men were in a Peugeot 405 automobile when the bomb exploded.
Iran has faced several attacks against its nuclear scientists.
"The bomb was a magnetic bomb and is the same as those previously used to assassinate scientists, and is the work of the Zionists," said Tehran Deputy Governor Safar Ali Baratlo according to Fars.
Tehran blames the series of attacks on Iranians working on nuclear projects on the United States and Israel, an allegation denied by both countries.
In July, Daryoush Rezaie, identified as a nuclear physicist by Iranian state media, was killed in a similar car bombing.
An Iranian elementary-particle physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammad was killed when a bomb attached to his motorcycle exploded on January 12 2010, according to semiofficial Mehr News Agency. The man held responsible for that attack was sentenced to death in August by a Revolutionary Court, according to Fars.
On Nov. 29 2010, two different Iranian academics involved in nuclear projects were attacked, killing Majid Shahriari, a nuclear engineering professor, and wounding Fereidoun Abbasi, who was later appointed to head Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.
Iran's nuclear ambitions have been the subject of much controversy. Washington argues that the Iranian nuclear program is aimed at producing a viable nuclear weapon, while Tehran insists the program is for peaceful purposes.
Washington just signed another round of sanctions against Tehran targeting the country's central bank. The sanctions against the central bank, signed on Dec. 31, and would allow Washington to refuse any financial institution with ties to the Iranian Central Bank from doing business in the US.
Earlier this month during a visit to Iran, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters during a press conference that Iran was ready to sit down at the negotiation table again. Turkey hosted the last round of negotiations last January between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.
Last May, a Turkish-Brazilian brokered nuclear fuel swap deal was reached but rejected by the West because it would remove only some of Iran's low enriched uranium and did not address the issue of enrichment capability.