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Tehran accuses west of attacking nuclear scientists

Bombings left one scientist dead and another injured

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused "western governments and the Zionist regime" of coordinating an attack on two senior nuclear scientists after Majid Shahriar and Fereidoun Abbasi of Shahid Besheshti university in Tehran were targeted by bombers yesterday.

The attackers attached bombs to the windows of the scientists' cars and fled on motorcycles. The bombs detonated seconds later, wounding Abbasi and killing Shahriar, whose wife was also injured in the blast.

Abbasi had been one of the scientists named in a UN report detailing Iran's banned nuclear activities. Shahriar was not named in the UN file but was described in the Iranian media as devising a "new generation of theoretical nuclear reactors".

Another scientist, particle physicist professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was assassinated in similar circumstances in January. Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only, but western governments believe Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.