Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Blast kills Iran nuclear expert amid 'covert war'

TEHRAN, Iran — It seemed a clockwork killing: Motorcycle riders flashed by and attached a magnetic bomb onto a car carrying a nuclear scientist working at Iran's main uranium enrichment facility. By the time the blast tore apart the silver Peugeot, the bike was blocks away, weaving through Tehran traffic after what Iran calls the latest strike in an escalating covert war.

The attack Wednesday, which instantly killed the scientist and fatally wounded his driver, was at least the fourth targeted hit against a member of Iran's nuclear brain trust in two years. Tehran quickly blamed Israeli-linked agents backed by the United States and Britain.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied any U.S. role in the killing, and the Obama administration condemned the attack. However, provocative hints from Jerusalem reinforced the perception of an organized and clandestine campaign to set back Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The day before the attack, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as telling a parliamentary panel that 2012 would be a "critical year" for Iran — in part because of "things that happen to it unnaturally."

The blast killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, the centerpiece of Iran's expanding program to make nuclear fuel. Roshan, 32, had planned to attend a memorial later Wednesday for another nuclear researcher who was killed in a similar pinpoint blast two years ago, Iranian media said.

"A heinous act," said Iran's Atomic Energy Organization of Wednesday's bombing.

It added a tone of defiance. "We will continue our (nuclear) path without any doubt . . . Our path is irreversible," said the statement carried on state television.

The United States and its allies are pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a key element of the nuclear program that the West suspects is aimed at producing atomic weapons.

Iran denies it is trying to make nuclear weapons, saying its program is for peaceful purposes only and is geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

Comments
Hernando superintendent “pink slipped” by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

Hernando superintendent “pink slipped” by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

BROOKSVILLE — A room full of people clothed in purple erupted in frustration before Hernando County school officials Tuesday night, scolding Superintendent Lori Romano for the recent firing of 47 high-ranking teachers at Moton Element...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 12:59 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 12:59 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Williamson homers again, Giants top Nationals 4-3

Williamson homers again, Giants top Nationals 4-3

Mac Williamson homered for the second straight night, hitting a tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals
Updated: 1 hour ago

China says further steps ready to target Taiwan independence

China says its recent military exercises are a warning to those on self-ruling Taiwan who would move toward formal independence from Beijing
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man in custody after 2 Dallas officers, store employee shot

Man in custody after 2 Dallas officers, store employee shot

Authorities say two Dallas police officers were escorting a man from a home improvement store when he shot them and a store employee
Updated: 1 hour ago
In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies

In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies

Airstrikes, trapped civilians and fear: In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies
Updated: 1 hour ago
In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies

In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies

Airstrikes, trapped civilians and fear: In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies
Updated: 1 hour ago

Afghan Taliban announces start of annual spring offensive

The Afghan Taliban has announced the start of their annual spring offensive
Updated: 1 hour ago
Asian stocks slip following sell-off on Wall Street

Asian stocks slip following sell-off on Wall Street

Asian shares decline, mirroring sell-off on Wall Street triggered by worries over slowing growth, weaker profits
Updated: 1 hour ago
Supreme Court's last argument is over Trump travel ban

Supreme Court's last argument is over Trump travel ban

The Supreme Court is saving one of its biggest cases for last, weighing President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries.
Updated: 1 hour ago