TEHRAN, Iran (The Blaze/AP) — A hard-line Iranian newspaper called Thursday for retaliation against Israel, a day after the mysterious killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran with a magnetic bomb attached to his car.
Provocative hints from Israel reinforced the perception that the killing was part of an organized and clandestine campaign to set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which the U.S. and its allies suspect are aimed at producing weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes only.
Reuters has more:
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which has failed to persuade the West that its quest for nuclear power has no hidden military goal, said the killing of Ahmadi-Roshan would not deter it: “We will continue our path without any doubt … Our path is irreversible,” it said in a statement carried on television.
“The heinous acts of America and the criminal Zionist regime will not disrupt our glorious path … The more you kill us, the more our nation will awake.”
A column in the Kayhan newspaper by chief editor Hossein Shariatmadari asked why Iran did not retaliate. “Assassinations of Israeli military and officials are easily possible,” he wrote.
The attack — which instantly killed the scientist and his driver on Wednesday — 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 U.S. and Britain.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied any U.S. role in the slaying, and the Obama administration condemned the attack. Watch her address the incident, below:
However, 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 that day for another nuclear researcher who was killed in a similar pinpoint blast two years ago, Iranian media said.