Prominent nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack near the Iranian capital Tehran.
The Fars news agency reported that he had been targeted on Friday in a multi-pronged attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.
The attack targeted the vehicle carrying Fakhrizadeh — who headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), the agency said.
The Defense Ministry’s media office said Fakhrizadeh “was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists, and was transferred to hospital,” where he succumbed to his injuries.
Fars said 3-4 people were killed in the shooting, all of whom were said to be terrorists.
Photos and footage shared online of the attack showed bullet holes on the windshield of Fakhrizadeh’s car and a pool of blood on the road.
‘Serious indications of Israeli role’
In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif roundly condemned the terror attack, saying there were “serious indications” of the Israeli regime’s role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University of Tehran.
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” he said in a tweet.
The top Iranian diplomat called on the international community, especially the European Union, to “end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”
‘Harsh revenge awaits criminals’
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri blamed the “savage” attack on “terrorists tied to global arrogance and the evil Zionist regime.”
The assassination, he said, did deal a blow to Iran’s defense industry, but the enemies should know that “the path opened by the likes of Martyr Fakhrizadeh will never end.”