(CNN) — A prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahavadi, was killed on Friday outside the capital Tehran, Iran’s state media IRIB and semi-official Tasnim news agencies said.
Iran’s Defense Ministry confirmed the death of senior nuclear official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, state news agency IRNA said on Friday.
“During the conflict, the security team protecting the Iranian scientists was also injured and taken to hospital. The Iranian Ministry of Defense expressed in a statement its condolences to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and to the nation for the unjust murder of a committed manager and an expert ”.
Despite the denial of the Atomic Organization of Iran earlier, state media and semi-official news agencies said that Fakhrizadeh-Mahavadi was killed. Press TV reported that the scientist was killed in the Damavand county town of Absard, east of Tehran.
Fakhrizadeh was head of the research center for new technologies in the elite Revolutionary Guard of Iran. He is considered one of the masterminds of Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Iran began pulling out of its commitments to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in 2019, a year after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and unleashed crippling sanctions on the country.
In the past month, the International Atomic Energy Agency documented several new breaches of the agreement. Earlier this week, Iran said it had started injecting uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges at its Natanz facility.
Iran accuses Israel of killing scientist
In a tweet, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said there is a serious indication that Israel played a major role in the attack on Iran’s top nuclear official, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi.
“The terrorists today assassinated an eminent Iranian scientist. This cowardice, with serious indications of Israel’s role, shows the desperate warmongering of the perpetrators. Iran calls on the international community, and especially the European Union, to put an end to its shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror.
The Israeli prime minister’s office told CNN it had “no comment” to make on the reports.
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