According to Iranian state media, an Iranian scientist murdered the head of Tehran’s military nuclear program on Friday until it ended in the early 2000s.
State TV on Friday cited sources confirming the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and said it would offer more information soon.
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Fars, a semi-official news agency, reported being killed in an attack in Absard, east of Tehran. Witnesses reportedly heard the sound of an explosion followed by a machine gun fire. The attack targeted a car with Fakhrizadeh, the agency said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called Mohsen Fakhrizadehe at a press conference, saying, “Remember that name.”
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Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called “Amad” or “Hope” program, which Israel and the West described as a military operation to build a prince. According to the UN nuclear agency, the program ended in the early 2000s.
Fakhrizadeh’s death is another major blow to the Tehran regime, which has struggled amid “maximum pressure” from the Trump administration and has seen the United States abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and impose waves of sanctions against the Islamic dictatorship.
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Last year, the United States struck Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, which the Trump government described as a self-defense act against an “imminent” attack.
Axios reported this week that Israeli defense forces were preparing to strike at Iran in the last two months of President Trump’s tenure.
This comes a week after the New York Times reported that Trump had asked senior consultants about the possibility of hitting Iran’s main nuclear site after international inspectors released details of a significant increase in Iran’s nuclear materials.
Fox News Paul Best and the Associated Press contributed to this report