Iran appoints survivor of terror attack as new atomic energy chief

TEHRAN, IRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday appointed a nuclear scientist who survivor a terrorist attack in 2010 as new atomic energy chief, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Fereydoun Abbasi, 52, was designated as the new director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). He replaces Ali Akbar Salehi who was appointed as Foreign Minister on January 30.

"Given the level of your commitment, piety, and scientific and executive records, hereby, I appoint you as vice president and director of the Atomic Energy Organization," a decree issued by the Iranian president read.

Abbasi, a well known nuclear scientist, is one of the few Iranian specialists who can separate isotopes. He is the head of the physics department at Tehran's Imam Hossein University.

The 52-year-old scientist was the target of a terror attack on November 29, 2010. Abbasi was on his way to work in northern Tehran when a bomb planted in his car exploded.

A magnetic bomb was attached to the physicist's car but Abbasi and his wife survived after sustaining minor injuries. The same day, another prominent nuclear scientist, Majid Shahriari was assassinated due to a car bomb as well.

President Ahmadinejad blamed both the United States' CIA and the Israeli Mossad for ordering the attacks on the Iranian specialists. The Iranian leader claimed that both Israel and the U.S. have hatched numerous plots to stop its nuclear progress through different measures, including sanctions and murder of scientists and university professors.


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