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An Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated, according to reports.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is said to have been killed earlier on Friday in Tehran, aged 59.
He has been described as Iran’s “nuclear” equivalent to General Qassem Soleimani, who was the country’s most powerful military commander.
Soleimani was killed by a US air strike in Iraq in January, aged 62.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the commander of Iran's revolutionary guards tweeted that Iran will avenge the killing of scientist as it has in the past.
Ali Hashem, a journalist for Al Jazeera English, tweeted: “According to some sources in Tehran an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated earlier today in Tehran.
“His name is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.”
He added: “Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is Iran’s nuclear Qassem Soleimani.”
His death has not been officially confirmed yet.
The scientist has been described in reports as “influential and high-ranking”.
The Iran Atomic Energy organisation denied the assassination and insisted no incident involving nuclear scientists took place.
But Iranian news outlets, including the state broadcaster IRIB, said he had been assassinated.
In 2018, Fakhrizadeh was named during a presentation by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the director of Iran’s nuclear project.
He is said to have added, “remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”, the Times of Israel reported.
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