Iran has begun a funeral for a recently killed scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the early 2000s.
State TV broadcast the ceremony Monday showing the casket of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
An honour guard carried it to a podium where reciters read the Quran and other religious verses; in an outdoor area of the Defense Ministry in Iran’s capital, Tehran.
Officials, including Defense Minister Gen Amir Hatami, attended the ceremony; sitting apart from each other and wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fakhrizadeh was killed in a military-style ambush Friday on the outskirts of Tehran; which reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on the scientist.
Iran has blamed Israel for the attack. Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade; has declined to comment on the killing.
Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader vows to punish those behind nuclear scientist’s assassination.
Iran’s supreme leader has called for the “authoritative discipline” of those behind the death of one of the country’s prominent nuclear scientists.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made his vow in a proclamation on his official site; after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani utilized a broadcast statement to accuse Israel of the executing.
All Israeli embassies around the world have now been put on high alert.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was injured after gunmen fired at his car in an ambush near Tehran.
He died later in hospital.
Mr Rouhani, who has also said that the scientist’s death will not curtail Iran’s nuclear programme; said in his address: “We will retaliate.”
“Our people are wiser than to fall in the trap of the Zionist regime (Israel)… Iran will surely respond to the martyrdom of our scientist at the proper time,” he added.
Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; responded that he had “no clue” who was behind the killing of Mr Fakhrizadeh.
“I have no clue who did it. It’s not that my lips are sealed because I’m being responsible; I really have no clue,” he told N12’s Meet the Press.