Iran blames Israel for killing of nuclear scientist near Tehran

Tehran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif quickly suggested that Israel was behind the attack.
Iran blames Israel for killing of nuclear scientist near Tehran

A supposed Iran nuclear site. Picture: Handout/PA

Iran’s foreign minister has blamed Israel for the “terrorist” murder of a nuclear scientist and has urged the international community to condemn the killing.

An Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s was killed in a shootout on Friday, Iran’s state television had said.

Tehran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif quickly suggested that Israel was behind the attack.

In a tweet Mr Zarif said: “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today.

“This cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators.

“Iran calls on int’l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”

Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu once mentioned 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.

State TV Friday cited sources confirming the death.

It said it would offer more information shortly.

The semi-official Fars news agency, believed to be close to the country’s Revolutionary Guard, said the attack happened in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran.

It said witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gun fire.

The attack targeted a car that Mr Fakhrizadeh was in, the agency said.

State television on its website later published a photograph of security forces blocking off the road.

Mr Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called Amad, or Hope programme.

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 programme is peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Amad programme ended in the early 2000s.

IAEA inspectors now monitor Iranian nuclear sites as part of Iran’s now-unravelling nuclear deal with world powers.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox