Iran will have retribution for the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist killed on Friday, the country’s supreme leader has pledged. Iranian officials accuse Israel of being behind the killing.

Fakhrizadeh was a “precious soul” valued for “his great and lasting scientific efforts,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement on Saturday. Iran will conduct a thorough investigation of his assassination and to “firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders,” while doubling down on scientific exploration in the fields in which Fakhrizadeh worked, he added.

All relevant administrators must seriously place two crucial matters on their agendas: 1st to investigate this crime and firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders, 2nd to continue the martyr’s scientific and technological efforts in all the sectors where he was active.

The top Iranian scientist was killed on Friday – reportedly, he died from gunshot wounds after his car was ambushed by unidentified gunmen outside of Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have indicated that they suspect Israel to be behind the killing. The Jewish state would not immediately comment on the assassinations or the Iranian accusations.

Fakhrizadeh, a physics scientist with close ties to the Iranian defense industry, has for years been suspected by Israel and its allies to be the leader of Iranian effort to produce a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies ever running such a project, insisting that its nuclear research was purely civilian.

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