The funeral procession of Iranian top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in an assassination near Tehran attributed to Israel, got underway on Sunday, Iranian state media reported.
The coffin of Fakhrizadeh, who was known as the ‘father’ of Iran’s nuclear program and held the rank of brigadier General, will be moved between several mosques across the country. Fakhrizadeh is expected to be interred on Monday.
According to Iran's state news agency IRNA, Fakhrizadeh’s body was transferred last night to the the shrine of Imam Reza in the northeastern city of Mashhad. His body will later be transferred to the city of Qom, south of Tehran, and from there to the Imam Khomeini shrine in the capital Tehran.
The website of the Ministry of Defense stated that senior army officers and Fakhrizadeh’s family will be in attendance at the funeral, but did not specify its exact location.
At the same time, the Iranian Student News Agency reported that the parliament in Tehran held a closed session on Sunday, with the participation of Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, to “investigate the assassination.” A source in parliament said that “the decisions will be published soon.”
Iranian President Hassan Rohani accused Israel of assassinating Fakhrizadeh in a televised speech on Saturday, asserting that his death “will not slow down the Iranian nuclear program.” Rohani said that Iran will retaliate for the attack “at the proper time,” adding: “Our people are wiser than to fall in the trap of the Zionist regime.”
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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote that he vowed to avenge the scientist’s death and that Iran’s “scientific and technical” work in all areas would continue.
On Saturday, an Iranian newspaper known for its hawkish positions called on Iran to bomb the Israeli port city of Haifa in response to the killing of Fakhrizadeh, intimating for the first time that the deaths of civilians should be acceptable.
Although Israel did not officially take responsibility for the assassination, a senior Israeli official told the New York Times that Israel would continue to act against the Iranian nuclear program.
The official, who, according to the Times, was involved for years in tracking the scientist and monitoring his activities, added that Iran’s ambitions to achieve nuclear weapons pose such a great threat that the world should thank Israel for Fakhrizadeh's killing.