An Iranian scientist, who American and Israeli intelligence have said led the country’s military nuclear program, was assassinated in an attack on Friday in northern Iran, state media reported.
Iranian state media reported that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was believed to be 59, was shot and killed by “armed terrorist elements” while in a vehicle in the town of Absard and died in the hospital after doctors were unable to save him, The Associated Press reported based on state media.
“Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving [Fakhrizadeh], and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist achieved the high status of martyrdom after years of effort and struggle,” Iran’s armed forces said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
The military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised to retaliate against Fakhrizadeh’s killers, tweeting, “We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” according to Reuters.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif alleged there were “serious indications” of an Israeli role in the attack but did not provide specific evidence.