This flyer image from the IIPA (Iran International Photo Agency) shows a view of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant built in Russia when the first fuel was loaded on August 21, 2010 in Bushehr in southern Iran.
WASHINGTON – According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, a top Iranian scientist was murdered.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the “father of the Iranian bomb”, died of his injuries after armed bombers shot his car. This emerges from reports from Iranian media that have not been independently verified by NBC News.
State media shared photos of a black Nissan sedan with multiple bullet holes through the windshield and bloodshed on the street next to the car door. No group immediately took responsibility for the attack on Friday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the murder, claiming “serious signs” of Israeli involvement.
Fakhrizadeh’s death comes just days before the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari. what Iran also accused Israel.
The Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The Pentagon declined to comment. The State Department and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
However, President Donald Trump retweeted an article and comment about Fakhrizadeh’s death.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased after Trump pulled out of the landmark Iranian nuclear deal, dubbed “the worst deal ever.”
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) brokered by the Obama administration lifted sanctions against Iran, which paralyzed its economy and roughly halved its oil exports. In return for the sanctions easing, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program until the terms expire in 2025.
The Trump administration withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in 2018.
Trump has previously said that he wants to reach a broader deal with Iran that will put tighter limits on its nuclear and ballistic missile work and suppress the regime’s role in regional proxy wars. Tehran has refused to negotiate as long as the US sanctions remain in place.
In October, the United States unilaterally imposed United States sanctions on Tehran through a snapback process previously declared by other members of the United States Security Council that Washington had no enforcement powers for withdrawing from the nuclear deal in 2018.
Earlier this year, a US strike in which Iran’s chief military commander was killed led the regime to further reduce compliance with the international nuclear pact. In January, Iran said it would no longer curtail its uranium enrichment capacity or its nuclear research.
Iranian mourners gather in his hometown of Kerman on January 7, 2020 for the final stage of the funeral procession for the assassinated General Qasem Soleimani.
Atta Kenare | AFP | Getty Images