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Iranian scientist assassinated in Tehran

FILE - This file photo released by the

FILE - This file photo released by the official website of the Iranian Supreme Leader's office, shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivering a speech. As Iran's capacity to build nuclear weapons grows, intelligence assessments from nations that follow Tehran's atomic progress discern increasing indecision and squabbling by its leadership on whether to make such arms. (Aug. 3, 2009) Credit: AP

TEHRAN, Iran - Assailants on a motorcycle assassinated an Iranian physicist Saturday in front of his home in Tehran, Iranian media reports said, in a killing that bore similarities to other slayings of scientists involved in the country's nuclear work in recent years.

One report, on the javanonline.ir news website, identified the man as a nuclear scientist. Iran's official IRNA news agency also reported the killing but had few details on the attack and the man's background.

Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been murdered in recent years in attacks that Iran has blamed on the U.S. and Israel, which both accuse Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the cover of its civilian atomic energy program.

The semi-official Mehr news agency identified the victim as a professor of physics and said he was assassinated in front of his house in Bani Hashem street in Tehran.

The wife of the scientist was wounded in the attack and rushed to hospital for treatment, Mehr reported, quoting a police official.

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