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Bombs Kill, Injure 2 Iran Nuclear Scientists

Updated 3:41 p.m. ET

Iran's state TV says separate but identical bomb attacks have killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in the capital, Tehran.

The state television website says attackers riding on motorcycles attached bombs to the car windows of the scientists as they were driving to their workplaces on Monday morning.

One bomb killed Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Tehran University, and wounded his wife.

The second blast seriously wounded nuclear physicist Fereidoun Abbasi.

Abbasi was named on a list of nuclear personnel under an international travel ban and asset freeze, under a 2007 U.N. Security Council resolution.

According to the resolution, Abbasi is a Defense Ministry scientist with links to the Institute of Applied Physics, and working closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, another nuclear scientist on the sanctions list.

At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years. Iran has said it suspects the attacks were part of a covert attempt by the West to undermine the country's nuclear program.

The attacks come as thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, revealed to the public by the WikiLeaks organization, shed light on Arab leaders' deep concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.

Some of the cables include statements by leaders in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, urging the U.S. to attack Iran to end the isolated regime's uranium enrichment program.

Iran temporarily stopped enriching uranium earlier this month for unspecified reasons, the U.N. nuclear agency said last week.

On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed what observers have suspected for weeks: that the shutdown was caused by the computer worm known as Stuxnet.

Iran had previously denied the Stuxnet worm, which experts say is calibrated to destroy centrifuges, had caused any damage, saying they uncovered it before it could have any effect.

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said it "managed to create problems for a limited number of our centrifuges." Speaking to a press conference Monday, he said the problems were resolved.

Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi initially said details about the virus became known only after Iran's "enemies failed to achieve their goals."

Salehi said in October that a months-long delay in starting up Iran's first nuclear power plant was the result of a small leak, not the computer worm.

Iran's refusal to stop enriching and accept offers of nuclear fuel from abroad has caused concern because enriched uranium can also arm nuclear warheads. Tehran is under four sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to stop enriching.

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