An Iranian scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme was killed in an ambush near Teheran on Friday (Nov 27), likely to provoke confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump's presidency.
"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today". Iran has long denied seeking to weaponise nuclear energy.
Fakhrizadeh led Iran's so-called "Amad", or "Hope" program.
The killing comes just days before the 10-year anniversary of the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.More news: National Dog Show 2020: Here's what to know and how to watch
"This Friday afternoon, armed terrorist elements attacked a auto carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Ministry of Defense's Research and Innovation Organization", it said.
A view of the reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.
The semiofficial Fars news agency reported that he was killed in an attack in Absard, to the east of Tehran. This cowardice -with serious indications of Israeli role -shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. "During the clash between his security team and the terrorists, Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was seriously injured and taken to hospital".
Last year, the USA took out Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a strike in what the Trump administration described as an act of self-defense against an "imminent" attack.More news: Farmers clash with police in protest over farm laws
There has been no comment from Israel on the news of the assassination.
Fakhrizadeh is thought to have headed what the United Nations nuclear watchdog and U.S. intelligence services believe was a coordinated nuclear weapons programme in Iran, shelved in 2003.
He was the only Iranian scientist named in the International Atomic Energy Agency's 2015 "final assessment" of open questions about Iran's nuclear programme.
Netanyahu in 2018 gave a presentation in which he unveiled what he described as material stolen by Israel from an Iranian nuclear archive. Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives acting at the behest of the United States, the New York Times reported earlier this month, citing intelligence officials. "Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh".More news: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G leaks in case renders