Iran will have retribution for the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist killed on Friday, the country’s supreme leader has pledged. Iranian officials accuse Israel of being behind the killing.

Fakhrizadeh was a “precious soul” valued for “his great and lasting scientific efforts,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement on Saturday. Iran will conduct a thorough investigation of his assassination and to “firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders,” while doubling down on scientific exploration in the fields in which Fakhrizadeh worked, he added.

The top Iranian scientist was killed on Friday – reportedly, he died from gunshot wounds after his car was ambushed by unidentified gunmen outside of Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have indicated that they suspect Israel to be behind the killing. The Jewish state would not immediately comment on the assassinations or the Iranian accusations.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. © Sputnik / Aleksey Druzhinin; The scene of the attack that killed Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. © WANA via Reuters
Iranian president points finger at Israel after assassination of top military scientist near Tehran

Fakhrizadeh, a physics scientist with close ties to the Iranian defense industry, has for years been suspected by Israel and its allies to be the leader of Iranian effort to produce a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies ever running such a project, insisting that its nuclear research was purely civilian.

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