More than 1,000 students in Iranian universities switched their majors to nuclear science following the assassination of one of the nation’s top nuke scientists. The announcement was made this week by Iranian officials.
Announced in press conference
Kamran Daneshjo, Iran’s Minister of Science Research and Technology, said in a press conference:
“Three hundred talented students at Sharif University and about a thousand brilliant students at the country’s universities have applied in recent days to change their major and start studying nuclear physics and nuclear engineering.”
Fourth nuclear scientist killed
Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was assassinated Jan. 11, five days prior to the announcement. The 32-year-old nuclear scientist was killed by a magnetic bomb, which was stuck on his car by a motorcycle-riding assassin. He was the fourth Iranian nuclear scientist to be killed within the last two years.
The Natanz facility was the center of the STUXNET cyber attack that took out 1,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges last year.
Iran accuses U.S. and Israel
Government officials in the Middle Eastern nation were quick to point fingers at Israel and the U.S. Both nations have condemned the nation over rumored advances in its nuclear capabilities.
Accused nations deny charges
U.S. officials condemned the murder and have denied any involvement. A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces wrote a far less diplomatic denial online:
“I don’t know who settled a score with the Iranian scientist, but I am certainly not shedding a tear.”
Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ordered “extra security precautions” for the country’s remaining nuclear scientists Tuesday.
Iran undaunted, says president
According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Ahmadinejad defiantly told a crowd at a ceremony to honor the fallen scientists:
“Criminals who believed [they] could hinder Iran’s progress by conducting terrorist acts should know that such actions could never discourage the Iranian nation from moving towards further prosperity.”
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