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Top Iran Nuclear Scientist, Once Targeted for Assassination, Gets New Emergency Post (NY) TIMES) By RICK GLADSTONE 04/18/12)Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/world/middleeast/top-iran-nuclear-scientist-once-targeted-for-assassination-gets-new-emergency-post.html NEW YORK TIMES NEW YORK TIMES Articles-Index-TopPublishers-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 04/18/12)


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