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Iran nuclear scientist ‘assassinated’ as Tehran vows revenge



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n Iranian scientist who reportedly led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme was killed in a shoot-out near Tehran on Friday, state television said.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was gunned down in Absard, a small city just east of Iran’s capital in Tehran,  and died at a local hospital after doctors and paramedics could not revive him, it was reported. 

Witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gun fire, said State TV. The attackers reportedly targeted the scientist’s car.

State TV claimed Fakhrizadeh was killed by “armed terrorist elements.” and said it would offer more information shortly.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the commander of Iran’s revolutionary guards, Hossein Dehghan, tweeted that Iran would avenge the killing of scientist.

“We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” he said on Twitter.

Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu once mentioned in a news conference saying: “Remember that name”.

Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly a decade ago.

Mr Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called Amad, or Hope programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s.

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Israel and the West have alleged it was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon in Iran. Tehran long has maintained its nuclear programme is peaceful.

IAEA inspectors now monitor Iranian nuclear sites as part of Iran’s now-unravelling nuclear deal with world powers.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.