Top Iran Nuclear Scientist, Once Targeted for Assassination, Gets New Emergency Post (NY) TIMES) By RICK GLADSTONE 04/18/12)
NEW YORK TIMES
NEW YORK TIMES Articles-Index-Top
The head of Iranís Atomic Energy Organization, a top nuclear
scientist who narrowly avoided an assassination attempt less than two
years ago, has been given a new post as the commander for nuclear and
radioactive emergencies, the Iranian military announced Tuesday.
The appointment of the scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi, was the second
time in less than a week that he had made news in relation to Iranís
disputed nuclear energy program, the subject of renewed negotiations
between Iran and six world powers. A few days before those
negotiations in Istanbul last weekend, he was widely quoted in Iranís
state-run press as suggesting a compromise was possible on the
question of Iranís production of enriched uranium, a central issue in
the nuclear dispute.
Dr. Abbasi is well known among United Nations nuclear experts, who
consider him a major figure in Iranís nuclear program, which the
Iranians have insisted is peaceful but which Western nations suspect
is a cover for possible weapons development. He is on a Security
Council blacklist under sanctions that have penalized Iran for
refusing to halt all uranium enrichment.
He is perhaps best known for having escaped death on Nov. 29, 2010,
by a motorcycle assassin in Tehran who slapped a magnetized bomb on
his vehicle. Dr. Abbasi was wounded; another top Iranian nuclear
scientist was assassinated in an identical Tehran bomb attack the
same day. Iranian leaders said the double bombing was an act of
terrorism carried out by agents of Israel, which considers Iran its
most dangerous enemy and has made no secret of its desire to subvert
Iranís nuclear ambitions.
The Iranian militaryís announcement that Dr. Abbasi had been given a
new title, commander of the Crisis Management Center for Nuclear and
Radiation Accidents, was reported by Iranís semi-official Fars News
Agency. It was not clear from the announcement why Dr. Abbasi had
been chosen for the new responsibility or whether it means he will
relinquish his existing position.
Fars said Dr. Abbasi would oversee an operation ďtasked with taking
preparatory measures to decrease the impacts of radiation accidents
in times of crisis.Ē (Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company
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