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U.S. denies role in slaying of Iranian

WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- Accusing the West for suspicious activity inside Iran is a common practice for Tehran, a U.S. official said in denying links to a slain graduate student.

Iranian parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani blamed Israel and the United States during the weekend for the death of Daryoush Rezayeenejad, a 35-year-old post-graduate student. He was killed by assailants on motorcycles while on his way to his daughter's school.

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Larijani told Parliament that Saturday's attack was another example of American-Zionist animosity against Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. He recommended that U.S. officials consider the consequences of their actions.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said Larijani's finger-pointing was common practice in Tehran.

"We were not involved (in the attack)," she said during a regular press briefing.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency said Rezayeenejad was a scientist in the field of power and electronics.

Initial Iranian reports, including the semiofficial Mehr news agency, initially misidentified the victim as Darioush Rezaei, a 45-year-old physics professor.

Nuland added there were "a number of conflicting reports" on the death, which allegedly involved Iran's nuclear program.

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