The murky nexus between Iran's nuclear program and the political reformists battling the country's current regime became bloody this morning when a bomb killed Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, 50, a physicist at Tehran University. Ali-Mohammadi died when a bomb placed on a motorcycle detonated outside his apartment as he was heading to work. Almost immediately, conflicting views of the researcher's political views emerged.
According to the Los Angeles Times ,
Reformist websites and two students also described him as an outspoken supporter of opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
Hard-line Iranian officials immediately blamed Israel and the West for the assassination, which came at a time of heightened tension over Iran's nuclear program.
State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a "revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated" with the West.
Students quoted anonymously in that story say that Ali-Mohammadi recently spoke out against the current regime, abandoning a long-standing position in support of the Revolutionary Guard. One student the Times quoted said the scientist supported the student movement against the government "in his classes."
Ali-Mohammadi's work—he taught "neutron physics" and worked on subatomic particles—is not directly connected to nuclear weapons studies.
There are other reasons to question whether Ali-Mohammadi was killed because of his involvement in the nuclear program.
The Washington Post also questions  whether the scientist actually supported the government:
Although his colleagues described him as non-political, both the government and the opposition said that Mohammadi supported their cause. Pro-government media such as the Jahan news Web site described him as "a firm believer in the Islamic system" who recently called for dialogue between both factions. But the Rah-e Sabz Web site published a letter in support of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi that was written before the disputed June 12 elections and signed by Mohammadi and 419 other scientists.