Report: Attacker at Iranian university stabs faculty member who was in reformist ex-government

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A former Iranian government official who backs the opposition was stabbed Monday by a knife-wielding intruder at his university office in Tehran, a pro-reform website reported.

The motive for the assault on Ahmad Motamedi was not immediately clear, but university campuses have become frequent flashpoints between Iranian opposition groups and forces loyal to the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The attacker, who claimed to be a retired telecommunications worker, was taken into custody, said an official at Amirkabir University.

Motamedi was hospitalized with wounds to his chest, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of rules that ban giving information to media.

The Rahesabz website gave no additional details about the attacker or the extent of Motamedi's injuries.

Motamedi served as communications minister under the pro-reform government of former President Mohammad Khatami, who left office in 2005 after serving the maximum two terms.

He has held a faculty position at Amirkabir University since the 1980s.

Motamedi also is considered a backer of Iran's opposition, but had no apparent high-profile role in protests against the ruling system that have followed last year's disputed presidential election.