An Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated, according to reports.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 59, is said to have been killed earlier on Friday in Tehran.
He has been described as Iran’s “nuclear” equivalent to General Qassem Soleimani, who was the country’s most powerful military commander.
Soleimani was killed by a US air strike in Iraq in January, aged 62.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the commander of Iran’s revolutionary guards tweeted that Iran will avenge the killing of scientist as it has in the past.
Ali Hashem, a journalist for Al Jazeera English, tweeted: “According to some sources in Tehran an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated earlier today in Tehran.
“His name is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.”
He added: “Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is Iran’s nuclear Qassem Soleimani.”
His death has not been officially confirmed yet.
According to reports, Fakhrizadeh and his bodyguard were both attacked by a suicide attacker.
His body was left badly wounded, Tehran-based journalist Reza Khaasteh tweeted.
It comes two days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the assassination of high-profile nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari, who was killed in a car bomb.
The scientist has been described in reports as “influential and high-ranking”.
The Iran Atomic Energy organisation denied the assassination and insisted no incident involving nuclear scientists took place.
But Iranian news outlets, including the state broadcaster IRIB, said he had been assassinated.
In 2018, Fakhrizadeh was named during a presentation by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the director of Iran’s nuclear project.
He is said to have added, “remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”, the Times of Israel reported.
UN security council documents have previously identified Fakhrizadeh as a “person involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities”.
Back in 2013, the Sunday Times reported Fakhrizadeh was in charge of developing a warhead.
Source » dailystar