Prominent Iranian nuclear scientist killed in attack outside Tehran

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An Iranian scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme was killed in an ambush near Teheran on Friday (Nov 27), likely to provoke confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump's presidency.

Fakhrizadeh is the most renowned Iranian nuclear scientist and a senior officer of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

The killing comes just days before the 10-year anniversary of the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.

Reports suggest that the assassins had detonated another vehicle before shooting at the auto carrying Fakhrizadeh.

A view of the reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.

Fars news agency earlier reported there was a auto explosion in Absard town, with witnesses reporting that "three to four individuals, who are said to have been terrorists, were killed". "This cowardice-with serious indications of Israeli role-shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators", Zarif wrote. "During the clash between his security team and the terrorists, Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was seriously injured and taken to hospital".

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Israel has declined to comment, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself has named the scientist slain outside of Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that the "Amad" program ended in the early 2000s.

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering US and European politics for Fox News. Those targeted killings came alongside the so-called Stuxnet virus, believed to be an Israeli and American creation, that destroyed Iranian centrifuges.

According to secret documents obtained by Israel in 2018, he led the programme that created Iran's nuclear weapons.

Dr Fakhrizadeh has always been described by Western countries as a leader of a covert atomic bomb programme halted in 2003, which Israel and the United States accuse Teheran of trying to restore in secret. "This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad, put it".

"Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh", Mr Netanyahu said at the time.

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