TEHRAN — Unidentified assailants riding motorcycles launched bomb attacks early on Monday against two Iranian nuclear physicists here, killing one of them and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel were behind the episode, state-controlled media reports said.
The dead scientist was identified as Majid Shahriari, a physics professor at Shahid Beheshti University in northern Tehran, whose wife was injured when a bomb attached to his car was detonated remotely. A second professor at the same university, Fereydoon Abbasi, was injured in a separate, simultaneous attack. His wife was also hurt.
Iranian media reports said the attackers attached bombs to the cars of both academics and detonated them from a distance.
The semi-official Fars news agency declared: “The United States and the Zionist regime perpetrated a terrorist attack on two professors at Shahid Beheshti university.”
Some unofficial Iranian media reports, controlled by hardliners, described Mr. Abbasi as a loyalist supporter of the Iranian regime involved in nuclear research at the Defense Ministry and said both scientists were from the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University.
Mr. Shahriari was said in some reports to have taught at the Supreme National Defense University, run by the Iranian Army.
Iranian media accounts called the attacks terrorism.
The attacks were similar to a bombing last January in which a remote-controlled bomb killed another physics professor, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, outside his home. The Iranian authorities also blamed that attack on the United States and Israel — a charge the State Department in Washington rebutted as absurd.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told the semiofficial IRNA news agency that Mr. Shahriari “was my student and he worked with the Atomic Energy Organization.”
Mr. Salehi called him the manager of “one of the organization’s major projects” and said Tehran would “multiply our nuclear efforts.”
“Don’t play with fire,” he warned Western powers and their allies. “The patience of the Iranian people has its limits. If our patience runs out, you will suffer the consequences.”
Both Mr. Mohammadi and Mr. Shahriari were associated with a non-nuclear scientific research unit, based in Jordan and operating under United Nations auspices, known as SESAME for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East. Unusually, its nine-member council includes representatives from Israel along with Iran and several other Muslim countries. It was not clear whether the killings of the two Iranian scientists were linked to their association with the organization.
Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East

In an apparent coincidence, the latest bombing came a day after leaked State Department documents quoted several Arab leaders as urging the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only but many in the West and in Israel maintain Tehran’s aim is to build a nuclear bomb.
The bombings came days before Iranian officials are supposed to meet on Dec. 5 for oft-postponed talks on nuclear and other issues with officials from world powers seeking to persuade Tehran to abandon nuclear fuel enrichment which could contribute to a military capability.
William Yong reported from Tehran, and Alan Cowell from Paris