(JP) – Head of Iran’s nuclear program Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 59, was assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran, local Iranian news reported on Friday. Iran later confirmed the reports. “The nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated today by terrorists,” the Iranian Defense Ministry wrote in a statement, while not blaming any specific entity for the incident.

However, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later stated on Twitter that “serious indication” pointed to Israeli involvement and urged the international community to condemn the attack. Fakhrizadeh was a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer and headed Iran’s nuclear weapons project.

He was a professor of physics at the Imam Hussein University in Tehran and was former head of Iran’s Physics Research Center (PHRC). The semi-official Fars News Agency, affiliated with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, stated that Fakhrizadeh was injured in the attempted assassination and later died in the hospital. “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 in rolling coverage of the incident. READ MORE

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