Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed in Ambush

Headline Roundup November 27th, 2020

Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as "Iran’s Robert Oppenheimer," was killed when a group of "unknown assailants" bombed and fired upon his car near a Tehran suburb on Friday. As of Friday afternoon, no group claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested there were "serious indications of Israeli role" and called the attack an act of "state terror." Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s covert military nuclear program, which was disbanded in 2003, and has since led other Iranian nuclear research initiatives. In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to “remember” Fakhrizadeh’s name during a presentation of stolen Iranian files.

While there were no major left-right differences in coverage, coverage in outlets on all sides varied on mentioning Netanyahu’s 2018 statement and the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in January; calling the killing of Fakhrizadeh an "assassination"; and treating Israeli intelligence on the 2003 nuclear program as an allegation or a reported fact.

Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed in Ambush

From the Center

Iran's most senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated near the capital Tehran, the country's defence ministry has confirmed.

Fakhrizadeh died in hospital after an attack in Absard, in Damavand county.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has condemned the killing "as an act of state terror".

Western intelligence agencies view Fakhrizadeh as being behind a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

"If Iran ever chose to weaponise (enrichment), Fakhrizadeh would be known as the father of the Iranian bomb," one Western diplomat told Reuters news agency in 2014.


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From the Left

High-ranking Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who, Israel alleged, led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s has been “assassinated” in an ambush near Tehran.

Fakhrizadeh was shot and injured “by terrorists” in his vehicle in Absard, a suburb in eastern Tehran, and later succumbed to his injuries in what amounted to a “martyr’s death,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

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From the Right

Mohsen Fahrizade, a top architect behind Iran's military nuclear program, referred to as the country's Robert Oppenheimer, was assassinated in Tehran in broad daylight on Friday.

The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Support confirmed in a statement Fahrizade died after being taken to a hospital following an attack on a car carrying the nuclear scientist, reports the Tehran-based Mehr News.

"This Friday afternoon, armed terrorist elements attacked a car carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Research and Innovation Organization of the Ministry of Defense," the statement, translated from Persian,...

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