Iran Says Its Top Nuclear Scientist Killed in Attack
On Friday, a top Iranian nuclear scientist and father of the country’s nuclear weapons program Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot and killed while traveling through the suburbs of Tehran, the nation’s capital. Iran’s foreign minister blamed “terrorists” for the attack and claimed that there were indications of Israeli involvement. The Israeli prime minister has not commented on the attack. The US State Department has also declined to comment on the attack and the speculations regarding Israel’s involvement. The death will cause challenges in Tehran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and threatens to increase tensions between Iran and Israel.
Mr. Fakhrizadeh was a renowned scientist, a brigadier general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Gaurd Corps, and Chief Officer of the agency responsible for spearheading Tehran’s nuclear weapons program in the 1990s prior to its dissolution. In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly accused Mr. Fakhrizadeh of being a key figure in a covert attempt by Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied hosting a nuclear weapons program, declaring that its activities are for peaceful purposes.