Assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist, government says

Tehran – A prominent Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated, Iran’s defense ministry announced on state television on Friday.

Iran’s King News, which is close to the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and broadcasters IRIB and IRINN, among others, reported that Mohsin Fakhrizade died near the capital Tehran.

He is believed to be one of the architects of the country’s nuclear weapons program in the West.

Earlier, the nuclear power body of Tehran said that no incident had happened to the nuclear scientist. There was no explanation for the individual accounts.

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In the West he is known as Iran’s Robert Oppenheimer, the American scientist who helped his father build the atomic bomb in 1945, Fakhrizadeh is a celebrity and considered one of the country’s most important Iranian nuclear scientists.

Fakhrizadeh has long suspected the West that he had mastered the 2003 secret nuclear bomb program. Iran has long denied the demand to make nuclear energy a weapon.

State media said the incident took place in the Abard area of ​​Damavand province, about 40 miles east of Tehran.

This is a breaking news story please check back for more information.

Ali Oroji reported from Tehran, Adela Suleiman from London.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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