A file photo of martyred Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
Prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack near the capital Tehran.
The Fars news agency reported that he had been targeted on Friday in a multi-pronged attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.
The attack targeted the vehicle carrying Fakhrizadeh - who headed the Iranian Defense Ministryís Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), the agency said.
The Defense Ministryís media office said Fakhrizadeh "was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists, and was transferred to hospital," where he succumbed to his injuries.
Fars said 3-4 people were killed in the shooting that followed the explosion, all of whom were terrorists.
Photos and footage shared online of the attack showed bullet holes on Fakhrizadehís car and a pool of blood on the road.
‘Serious indications of Israeli roleí
In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif roundly condemned the terror attack, saying there were "serious indications" of the Israeli regimeís role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University of Tehran.
"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice-with serious indications of Israeli role-shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators," he said in a tweet.
The top Iranian diplomat called on the international community, especially the European Union, to "end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror."
‘Harsh revenge awaits criminalsí
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri blamed the "savage" attack on "terrorists tied to global arrogance and the evil Zionist regime.
The assassination, he said, did deal a blow to Iranís defense industry, but the enemies should know that "the path opened by the likes of Martyr Fakhrizadeh will never end."
Baqeri said "harsh revenge" awaits the terror groups as well as all those who had a hand in the terror attack.
The commander assured the Iranian nation that the perpetrators of the terror attack will be pursued and brought to justice.
In turn, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, also reacted to Fakhrizadehís martyrdom in a tweet, vowing a crushing response to the perpetrator.
"We will come down hard on those who killed Martry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh like thunder and make them regret their deed," he said.
"In the final days of their allied gamblerís political life, the Zionists are after intensifying pressure on Iran in order to trigger an all-out war," said Dehqan in a reference to outgoing US President Donald Trumpís final days in office.
Fakhrizadehís name was mentioned in a presentation in May 2018 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program.
Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iranís nuclear program and said, "Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh."
The Tel Aviv regime has made several attempts over the past years to throw a wrench in Tehranís peaceful nuclear work.
The regime has been behind the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists. It has also conduced cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear sites.