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Reports: Iran attack targeted prof who did nuclear or missile work

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Iranian professor killed in car bombing
  • NEW: EU recently imposed sanctions on one of two academics attacked in Iran
  • The wounded professor was cited in a UN resolution as a nuclear scientist
  • A nuclear scientist was killed in Iran in January
  • Professors targeted Monday were members of volunteer paramilitary

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- One of two academics attacked in Iran on Monday was a scientist involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities, Iranian news agencies and the United Nations reported.

In separate but similar attacks, assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to cars carrying two professors at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, the semi-official Fars news agency of Iran reported.

One of them, Fereydoun Abbasi, was injured along with his wife, Iranian news outlets said. Both were in "good condition," a Tehran security chief said.

A United Nations resolution cited Abbasi as a "nuclear scientist," the state-run Press TV said. That suggests that the "perpetrators behind the assassination could be traced through those who included the professor's name in the UN resolution," Press TV said.

The resolution, from March 2007, identifies Abbasi as one of several people "involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities" in Iran. It does not call him a "nuclear scientist" but describes him as a scientist for the Senior Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics who has links to the Institute of Applied Physics.

U.S. fears Iran has long-range missile
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  • United Nations

The European Union froze Abbasi's assets last month as it imposed additional sanctions on Iran.

The United Nations resolution says Abbasi has worked closely with another scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, who led the Physics Research Center in Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency has sought to interview Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, but Iran has declined to allow that, the resolution says.

A second explosion killed Majid Shahriyari, also a professor at Shahid Beheshti University in the Iranian capital, state-run Press TV reported. His wife and driver were injured. His area of research was not immediately reported.

A separate bomb attack in Tehran in January killed "an Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist" identified as Massoud Ali Mohammadi, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Both of the professors targeted on Monday were members of the Basij, Iran's volunteer paramilitary group, the news agency said.

Iran blamed the attack on the United States and Israel, a common practice in previous attacks on officials affiliated with Tehran's government.

There have been no arrests, and no one claimed responsibility for the attacks, Tehran security commander Maj. Gen Hossein Sajedinia said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.