Tehran, Nov 30 (efe-epa) – Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was buried Monday in northern Tehran on the second day of funeral proceedings following his assassination, which has fueled calls for revenge from the country’s leadership.
Fakhrizadeh was killed in an ambush on a highway near the capital, Tehran, on Friday. It led to an immediate outcry from the country’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and the president, Hassan Rouhani, who blamed Israel and vowed to avenge his death.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the funeral attendees on Monday were limited to relatives and some national authorities.
The coffin was covered with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran and at least one photograph of the deceased. Those present read recitals from the Koran.
The Imamzadeh Saleh shrine was chosen as the burial site. The complex also houses the remains of another nuclear scientist, Majid Shahriari, who was killed in 2010 in an attack that Iran also blamed on Israel.
The defense minister, Amir Hatami, assured that Iran would pursue the perpetrators of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination.
“They must know they will be punished for their actions.”
“No crime, no murder and no stupid act will go unanswered by the Iranian nation. We will definitely pursue the criminals to the end,” said Hatami.
Funeral proceedings for the scientist, considered the father of Iran’s nuclear program, began Sunday when his body was transferred to the holy city of Mashhad.
There, his coffin was carried on workers’ shoulders from the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shiite imam, for a final pilgrimage.
Similar ceremonies were also held Sunday at the shrine of Fatemeh Masumeh, Imam Reza’s sister, in the holy city of Qom, and at the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran.
According to the Iranian agency Fars, the assassination was carried out using automatic weapons placed in a vehicle and activated by remote control, without the presence of assailants.
The scientist, who according to the West and Israel ran the former secret Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons, was hit by several bullets, two of which hit his side and one struck his back.
According to Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, another scientist who escaped an assassination attempt in 2010, Fakhrizadeh “was the most influential person in the country in the field of nuclear energy and prepared the roadmap” for the sector.
Israel has yet to comment on the accusations it was involved in the killing.EFE-EPA