An Iranian scientist dubbed the leader of Tehran’s military nuclear program until it was ended in the early 2000s was killed in a shooting on Friday -- with the Iranian regime alleging involvement by Israel.
State TV on Friday cited sources confirming the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and said it would offer more information shortly.
The semiofficial Fars news agency reported that he was killed in an attack in Absard, to the east of Tehran. It said witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gun fire, according to reports. The attack targeted a car that Fakhrizadeh was in, the agency said.
"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today," Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted. "This cowardice -- with serious indications 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," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a news conference saying: “Remember that name.”
Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called “Amad,” or “Hope,” program, which Israel and the West described as a military operation to build a nuke. The U.N. atomic agency said the program ended in the early 2000s.
Fakhrizadeh’s death will be another major blow to the Tehran regime, which has struggled amid “maximum pressure” from the Trump administration and saw the U.S. leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and impose waves of sanctions on the Islamic dictatorship.
In January, the U.S. took out Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a strike in what the Trump administration described as an act of self-defense against an “imminent” attack.
It comes a week after the New York Times reported that Trump asked senior advisers about his options to strike Iran's main nuclear site after international inspectors reported details about a significant increase in the Iran's stockpile of nuclear material.
Fox News' Paul Best and The Associated Press contributed to this report