High-ranking Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, named by the West as leading the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s, has been assassinated in an ambush near Tehran.
Fakhrizadeh was shot “by terrorists” in his vehicle in Absard, a suburb in eastern Tehran, and he later succumbed to his injuries in what amounted to a “martyr’s death”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Local authorities had confirmed Fakhrizadeh’s death several hours earlier and also said that several attackers were killed.
Fakhrizadeh served as the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of the defence ministry at the time of his death.
Iran’s foreign minister alleged the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh bore “serious indications” of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate.
Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Fakhrizadeh, whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out in a news conference saying: “Remember that name.”
Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly 10 years ago.