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Iran Nuclear Scientist Dies In Strange Circumstances February 4, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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LONDON (Dow Jones)–A prize-winning Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, The Sunday Times reported, citing a report from the U.S.-funded Radio Farda which broadcasts to Iran.

Iranian reports cited in a Radio Farda story said Ardeshire Hassanpour, who won Iran’s top military research prize in 2004, died in mid-January from “gas poisoning,” the U.K. newspaper said.

Rheva Bhalla of Stratfor, a U.S. security consulting intelligence company, was quoted by the paper as saying that there was “very strong intelligence” to suggest that Hassanpour was killed by the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence services.

Israel has been strongly opposed to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in light of past calls by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the destruction of Israel.

Hassanpour worked at the Isfahan nuclear facility that produces the hexafluoride gas needed in the uranium enrichment process, a key step in the nuclear fuel cycle that can be used both for producing electricity and for producing nuclear weapons.

The Iranian reports didn’t say how or where Hassanpour was poisoned. His death was announced at a nuclear safety conference, the newspaper said.

Radio Farda and RadioFarda.com is produced in Washington, D.C. and Prague, Czech Republic.

Iran faces additional sanctions later this month by the United Nations Security Council if it doesn’t stop enrichment by the end of a 60-day period stipulated by the U.N.

The security council Dec. 23 approved a limited set of economic sanctions on Iran.

By Spencer Swartz, Dow Jones Newswires

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