TEHRAN — The Iranian Ministry of Defense confirmed the killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday, blaming Israel for the assassination.
Fakhrizadeh was head of the Research and Technology Center of the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry issued a statement indicating that unidentified gunmen attacked Fakhrizadeh’s car on Friday afternoon, seriously fatally wounding him during the gun battle with his security team. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Iranian officials, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, accused Israel of the assassination. Rouhani described the act as a terrorist, noting that the assassination of Zadeh would not slow down Iran’s nuclear course.
“This incident showed the extent of the enemy’s despair,” Rouhani added.
Other Iranian officials have pledged to revenge the assassination.
No official Israeli comment or response had been released regarding the incident.
After the killing, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for restraint to avoid any steps that could escalate tensions in the region.