Iran’s top nuclear scientist was reportedly killed Friday in an apparent assassination. The country’s foreign minister has linked the kiling to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has not responded to requests for comment.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was head of the research center of new technology in the elite Revolutionary Guards. He was considered one of the masterminds of Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Iranian state media said the killing appeared to be an assassination. Photographs from the scene showed a car with its windshield blown in, and the road strewn with glass and blood.Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif called the death “cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role.”
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” he said in a tweet. “This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators Iran calls on the international community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”
US President Donald Trump retweeted prominent Israeli journalist Yossi Melman, who wrote: “Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran according to reports in Iran. He was head of Iran’s secret military program and wanted for many years by Mossad. His death is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran.”
The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri warned of “severe revenge” against “the killers” of Fakhrizadeh, state-news agency IRNA reported.”The assassination of this capable and worthy manager, although it was a bitter and heavy blow to the country’s defense complex, but the enemies know that the path started by the martyr Fakhrizadeh will never be stopped,” Bagheri said, according to IRNA.
The Trump administration said it is closely monitoring the apparent assassination.