Iran's foreign minister is alleging the killing of a scientist linked to the country's disbanded military nuclear program has "serious indications" of an Israeli role. Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statement Friday on Twitter, per the AP. "Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today," Zarif wrote. "This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators." Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program until its disbanding in the early 2000s, was killed in a targeted attack that saw gunmen use explosives and machine gun fire on Friday, state TV said, adding that he was attacked by "armed terrorist elements." The semiofficial Fars news agency says the attack happened in Absard, a small city just east of Tehran.
The attack targeted a car that Fakhrizadeh was in, the agency says. Photos and video shared online showed a Nissan sedan with bullet holes through the windshield and blood pooled on the road. He died at a local hospital. Others wounded, including Fakhrizadeh's bodyguards, also were taken to a local hospital, the agency says. Although Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing, Iranian media pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called Fakhrizadeh out 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. The killing comes just days before the 10-year anniversary of the killing of Iranian scientist Majid Shahriari, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.
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