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Top Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated

WASHINGTON — A top Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated near Tehran, Iran’s government confirmed Friday and alleged Israel was behind the killing without presenting evidence so far.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, dubbed the “father of the Iranian bomb,” died from injuries after armed assassins fired upon his car, according to reports by Iranian media that have not been independently confirmed by NBC News.

State media shared photographs of a black Nissan sedan with multiple bullet holes through the windshield and blood on the road next to the car door. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.

A view shows the scene of the attack that killed Prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, outside Tehran, Iran, November 27, 2020.

WANA via Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the killing on Twitter and alleged “serious indications” of Israeli involvement.

Iran’s top army commander, Abdolrahim Mousavi, said the Islamic Republic reserves the right to take revenge, blaming the U.S. and Israel for the scientist’s killing.

Fakhrizadeh’s death comes days before the 10-year anniversary of the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari, which Iran also blamed on Israel.

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The Pentagon, Department of State and the National Security Council declined to comment. President Donald Trump did, however, retweet a news article and commentary about Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Little is known about Fakhrizadeh, a high-ranking Revolutionary Guard officer, long viewed as Iran’s top nuclear scientist overseeing the regime’s secret weapons programs.

In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of continuing to develop nuclear weapons and said Fakhrizadeh was working within Iran’s Defense Ministry on “special projects.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points at a screen with an image of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a news conference at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018.

Amir Cohen | Reuters

“Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” Netanyahu said at the time.

Fakhrizadeh’s death is expected to escalate tensions between Iran and the United States, which have soared under the Trump administration following Washington’s exit from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement.

The standoff with Iran

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Top Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated

2020-11-27 19:31:09

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