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Rouhani blames Israel for killing of top nuclear scientist

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28.11.2020

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Israel of being behind the Friday killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the alleged mastermind of Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program.

“Once again, the evil hands of global arrogance were stained with the blood of the mercenary usurper Zionist regime,” Rouhani said in a statement, Reuters reported early Saturday, citing state television.

“The assassination of martyr (Mohsen) Fakhrizadeh shows our enemies’ despair and the depth of their hatred… His martyrdom will not slow down our achievements,” he added, according to the report.

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Fakhrizadeh was killed on Friday in an ambush in Absard, a village just east of the capital Tehran, as his vehicle neared a truck that exploded when he approached. Local reports then described a barrage of automatic gunfire as gunmen emerged from a nearby car. A firefight erupted between the assassins and Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards. The attackers wounded Fakhrizadeh and killed at least three of the guards before escaping.

Photos and video shared online showed a Nissan sedan with bullet holes in the windshield, blood pooled on the asphalt and debris scattered along a stretch of the road. A photo released by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Nov. 27, 2020. (Fars News Agency via AP)

The area around Absard, which has a view of Mount Damavand, the country’s highest peak, is filled with vacation villas. Roads on Friday, part of the Iranian weekend, were emptier than normal due to a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic, offering his attackers a chance to strike with fewer people around.

Iranian officials have since pointed the finger at Israel. The country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, alleged the killing bore “serious indications” of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Zarif........

© The Times of Israel


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