• Bassma Al Jandaly, Editor In Chief

Alleged head of Iran’s nuclear weapons program is assassinated near Tehran

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s car bombed and shot at; blaming ‘Zionists,’ adviser to Khamenei vows to ‘descend like lightning on killers’; scientist has been called ‘father of Iranian bomb’

The alleged head of Iran’s nuclear weapons program was assassinated Friday near the capital Tehran, Iran’s defense ministry said. The ministry confirmed the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics and an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, after it was widely reported in Iranian media.

Several top Iranian officials indicated they believed Israel was behind the killing in the hours after the attack, with one adviser to the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader vowing revenge.

“This Friday afternoon, armed terrorist elements attacked a car carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Ministry of Defense’s Research and Innovation Organization,” it said. “During the clash between his security team and the terrorists, Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was seriously injured and taken to hospital.

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

There was no comment on whether the attackers had escaped.

The attack happened in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran. Iran’s Fars and the Tasnim news agencies, both close to security sources, said it involved “terrorists bombing a car before shooting at Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s car.”

Those wounded, including Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards, were later taken to a local hospital, Fars said.

State television on its website later published a photograph of security forces blocking off the road. Photos and video shared online showed a Nissan sedan with bullet holes through the windshield and blood pooled on the road.

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