x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Iran hangs 'Mossad agent' for nuclear scientist killing

State media reports that Iran has executed Majid Jamali Fashi, who was accused of killing a nuclear physicist in 2010.

TEHRAN // Iran has hanged a man who was sentenced to death for the 2010 killing of a nuclear physicist, state media reported yesterday.

Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, who had been accused of being an agent of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, was tried and convicted last August.

The Tehran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by a bomb-rigged motorcycle that exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work in January 2010. He had no publicly disclosed links to Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran claims that Israel and the US are trying to disrupt its nuclear programme through covert operations. Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has neither confirmed nor denied it, accuses Iran of seeking to develop an atom bomb.

Iran has denied it seeks nuclear weapons and insists its uranium enrichment programme 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. Tehran has accused Israel's Mossad, the CIA and Britain's MI6 of being behind the assassinations.

The US and Britain have denied the allegations but Israel has remained silent on the issue.