A top Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, has been “assassinated”, state television reported.
Israel had alleged that he led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s.
His death was disclosed in a statement by Iran’s armed forces on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving him, and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist achieved the high status of martyrdom after years of effort and struggle,” the statement said.
Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami tweeted that the killing displayed “the depth of enemies’ hatred” towards the Islamic Republic.
According to Al Jazeera, Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out in a news conference saying: “Remember that name.”
Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly 10 years ago, the broadcaster reported.
The semiofficial Fars news agency, believed to be close to the country’s Revolutionary Guard, said the attack happened in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran.
The agency said witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gun fire. The attack targeted a car that Fakhrizadeh was in, it reported.
Those wounded, including Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards, were later taken to a local hospital, the agency said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called Amad (Hope) programme. Israel and the West have alleged it was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon in Iran, Al Jazeera reported.
Iran has long maintained its nuclear programme is peaceful.