BREAKING: Iran: Top nuclear scientist murdered

Tehran vows to avenge the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the country's top nuclear scientist. There are 'serious indications of Israeli role' in the shooting attack, Zarif says
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BREAKING NEWS

An Iranian scientist believed to have led the military nuclear program of the Islamic Republic before its disbandment in the early 2000s was killed in a shooting Friday, state television said.

Iran's Ministry of Defense issued a statement to the media confirming the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, saying he died on Friday in a hospital because of his injuries.

"Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving him, and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist achieved the high status of martyrdom after years of effort and struggle," the statement said.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Israel was likely behind the assassination.

"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators," he wrote on Twitter.

"Iran calls on international community – and especially EU – to end their shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror."

In a news conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called the scientist saying, "Remember that name." Israel refused to comment immediately on the killing of Fakhrizadeh, as is usual for international stories.

In Absard, east of the capital, Fars news said witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gunfire. The attack targeted a car that Fakhrizadeh was in, the agency said, adding that those wounded were later taken to a local hospital, including Fakhrizadeh's bodyguards.

State television later released a photograph of security forces blocking the road on its website. A Nissan sedan with bullet holes in the windshield and blood spilt on the ground showed pictures and videos posted online.

The assault on Fakhrizadeh seemed to be acknowledged by Hossein Salami, chief commander of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

“Assassinating nuclear scientists is the most violent confrontation to prevent us from reaching modern science,” Salami tweeted.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami tweeted on Friday that the attack displayed
"the depth of enemies' hatred" towards the Islamic Republic."