Nov. 27 (UPI) — Prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated near Tehran on Friday, according to reports.
The Tasmin News Agency said Fakhrizadeh died after armed attackers clashed with his bodyguards in Absard County near Damavand, 37 miles east of Tehran.
A suicide attacker confronted Fakhrizadeh and his bodyguard at the entrance of Absard and later died from his injuries. His bodyguard remains severely wounded.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard-related Fars News Agency appeared to confirm the incident and Fakhrizadeh’s death.
“News sources say a scientist has been the victim of an assassination attempt in an armed attack by unknown people on his team of bodyguards,” Iranian state television said. “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.”
State-sponsored PressTV said Fakhrizadeh was being treated Friday at a hospital with several others where he died.
Fakhrizadeh was named in files obtained by Israel that described a secret nuclear bomb project that operated from 1999 to 2003. Iran denied the operation existed in 2015 at the time it signed an anti-nuclear agreement with the United States and five other countries.
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “This cowardice — with serious indication of Israeli role — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. Iran calls on int’l community — and especially EU — to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”