[QODLink]
Middle East
Iranian nuclear scientist shot dead in Tehran
Dariush Rezai-Nejad killed in front of his home in the capital, after two gunmen on motorcycles opened fire.
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2011 06:21
President Ahmadinejad has accused Israel and western governments for previous killings of scientists [GALLO/GETTY]

An Iranian nuclear scientist has been shot dead in the country's capital Tehran, according to reports in Iranian media.

Dariush Rezai-Nejad was killed in front of his house in the east of the city when two gunmen on motorcycles opened fire.

Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran where she spoke to witnesses, said Rezai-Nejad's wife was also wounded and had been taken to a nearby hospital.

"He was entering his garage with his wife at about 4:30 pm local time when two men on motorbikes approached and called him out by his name. When he turned around to respond, he was shot in the neck. His wife then ran to get help for her husband, she was chased and also shot," our correspondent said.

"According to Fars news agency, he worked for the defence department and had links with the country's nuclear program as well. But we do not know exactly to what extent he was involved."

String of attacks

There has been no official response from the Iranian government yet.

"What is clear is that this is a huge blow to the country's intelligence units. Rezai-Nejad's residence, in the eastern part of the city, was within close proximity of the intelligence ministry headquarters," our correspondent said.

Over the past years, several Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed or injured.

In two separate attacks in 2010, Majid Shahriari and Massoud Ali Mohammadi were killed while Feriedoun Abbasi, the current head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, was injured.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has accused Israel and western governments of being behind the killings of the prominent scientists.

After the death of Shahriari last year, Ahmadinejad said that "undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and western governments is involved'' in the killing.

He said then that the killings would not stop Iran from pursuing its disputed nuclear programmes.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.