Iranian kick boxer Majid Jamali Fashi admitted Tuesday to the murder of nuclear scientist Masoud Mohammadi on the orders of the Israeli intelligence while the opposition expressed doubt over his claims, saying they seemed fabricated by the authorities.
The 26-year-old athlete, who took part in several championships both inside and outside the country, admitted in court that the bomb attack that targeted Mohammadi on January 12 was part of a plan by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to assassinate five other nuclear scientists. Fashi said he got $120,000 in return for all operations.
The Iranian opposition website Rooz Online dismissed the story as fabricated by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security. According to the website, Fashi’s testimony contains several loopholes.
“Fashi said in his televised confessions that he traveled to Israel three times. How could he have done that without arousing the suspicions of the Iranian authorities?” said the Rooz Online statement.
The statement mocked the details about the tools Fashi allegedly used to facilitate the operations he was to carry out like a communication belt, bullet-proof clothes, mobile phone with infra-red camera, and a motorcycle that connects digitally to Tel Aviv.
“This [information] is taken from one of those American action movies.”
The website likened the publicized information on the assassination of Mohammadi to that official story on the arrest of Jundullah leader Abdolmajid Rigi and the shooting of opposition figure Neda Soltan in an anti-regime demonstration.
According to Iranian official media, Mohammadi’s wife called upon the court to sentence Fashi to death and to file a complaint against Israel in international courts.
According to the Israeli website DEBKAfile, Fashi, an ardent supporter of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was a member of the death squads affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and took part in the violent suppression of the protests that followed the 2009 presidential elections.
The website added that Fashi was instructed to implicate Israel in Mohammadi’s assassination based on instructions from the Revolutionary Guard.
For the opposition, this theory sounds plausible, especially in light of Mohammadi’s support of the Green Movement that accused the Iranian government of rigging the election. Fashi’s support to the Iranian president and his service at the Revolutionary Guard were confirmed by his friends’ testimonies which were published in Rooz Online along with Fashi’s resume.
(This article which appeared on Al Arabiya Arabic on Aug. 23, 2011 was translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)