Thousands of mourners attended the Tehran funeral on Friday for the nuclear scientists blown up by a hit man, chanting anti-American and Israeli sentiments, Reuters reported.
“Death to America!” “Death to Israel” the crowd shouted as they left their weekly prayers at Tehran University, where the dead scientist was a hailed a martyr in the tradition of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite Muslim, Reuters reported.
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Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, was assassinated on Wednesday, when two men on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to his car. He was a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, the Associated Press reported.
As the crowd marched toward his burial, state television broadcast showed thousands carrying Roshan’s coffin through central Tehran and chanting slurs against the United States and Israel. They also yelled “Death to terrorists!” and “Nuclear energy is our absolute right!”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Roshan’s death a “cowardly assassination” and accused the US and Israel of being behind it, the AP reported. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied any American role in the killing and the Obama administration condemned the attack.
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In contrast, Israeli officials have neither denied nor admitted to the attack, although they have admitted to covert campaigns against Iran, the AP reported.
Ayatollah Mohammed Emami-Kashani told the people that the Roshan’s assassination should encourage voters not to give in to opposition calls to boycott a parliamentary election on March 2, Reuters reported.
"The nation should wake up," Emami-Kashani said in his sermon, Reuters reported. "We have the election coming up and, as the leader said, the enemy is planning for the elections. All the people should be united."