Prominent Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated in Tehran suburb : Fars News Agency

Iranian authorities accused Israel of the attack
Aftermath of a damaged car that Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh were on board before being assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Absard town in eastern Tehran, Iran (Photo Credit: Fars News Agency)

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SULAIMANI — Prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an explosion and machinegun fires in Absard city east of Tehran, Iranian semi-official Fars News Agency said on Friday (November 27).

Photos published by news agency showed the aftermath of a damaged Nissan Sedan car with bullets riddled through windshield and blood pooled on the road.

The Iranian authority accused Israel of staging the attack, according to the news agency.

“Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency had gained access to Fakhrizadeh's name via a UN list which referred to him as a senior scientist of Iran's Defense Ministry's Physics Research Center,” it said.  

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweet. “Iran calls on int'l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”

Military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commander Hossein Dehghan said in a tweet: “In the last days of the political life of their ... ally (US President Donald Trump), the Zionists (Israel) seek to intensify pressure on Iran and create a full-blown war.”

Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Fakhrizadeh, who 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 a decade ago, according to AP.

Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called “Amad,” or “Hope” program. Israel and the West have alleged it was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon in Iran. Tehran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, AP reported.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that “Amad” program ended in the early 2000s. IAEA inspectors now monitor Iranian nuclear sites as part of Iran’s now-unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

On Friday before the news of the attack on Fakhrizadeh emerged, an Israeli official said Israel was discussing with and Gulf Arab states how to tackle Iran Reuters reported.

“The story is not Trump, nor even Israel. The story is Iran - the growing dread that a new U.S. administration will go back to the nuclear deal which threatens the very existence of the Gulf countries,” Tzachi Hanegbi, who sits in Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM. “We will know how to handle the issue of the Iranian threat, even if through our own means.”

On January, 2012, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, another Iranian nuclear scientist, was assassinated in Tehran.

(NRT Digital Media)

*This story was updated at 07:58 p.m. EBL time