Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassinated
Top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated, state media reported on Friday.
Fakhrizadeh was said to have been ambushed in the town of Absard, 70km east of Tehran, the state capital.
Four assailants opened fire on Fakhrizadeh, leaving him badly injured. Doctors could not save him at the hospital. His bodyguard was also seriously wounded.
The deceased was head of the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program before it was disbanded in the early 2000s.
An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed that the country would retaliate against the perpetrators.
“We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” tweeted Hossein Dehghan, a military commander.
The Iran Defence Ministry confirmed Fakhrizadeh’s passing in a statement saying:
“During the clash between his security team and the terrorists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was seriously injured and taken to hospital,” it said. “Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving him, and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist, after years of effort and struggle, achieved a high degree of martyrdom.”
Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel as the likely culprit. He said:
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” he tweeted. “This cowardice – with serious indications of Israeli role – shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. Iran calls on international community – and especially EU – to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”
Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators
Iran calls on int’l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 27, 2020