Iran blamed Israel for the killing of one of its top Iranian nuclear scientists in an assassination near Tehran on Friday that threatens to provoke a military confrontation during the final months of the Trump presidency. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh succumbed to injuries in hospital after gunmen fired on his car in Damavand county, Iranian media reported. Western and Israeli intelligence had long identified Mr Fakhrizadeh, 59, as the head of a covert Iranian project to develop a nuclear weapon that was shelved in 2003. He was subject to UN sanctions and named by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its 2015 "final assessment" of questions about Iran's nuclear programme. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there were “serious indications” of Israeli involvement. “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” he tweeted. “This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators.” He called on the international community and particularly the European Union to condemn the killing "as an act of state terror".
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