An Iranian nuclear scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret atomic weapons programme was assassinated near Tehran.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh died of injuries in hospital after armed assassins fired on his car, Iranian media reported.
“Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving [Mr Fakhrizadeh], and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist achieved the high status of martyrdom after years of effort and struggle,” Iran’s armed forces said in a statement.
Mr Fakhrizadeh has long been described by Western, Israeli and Iranian exile foes of Iran’s clerical rulers as a leader of a covert atomic bomb programme halted in 2003.
An Iranian military commander said that Iran would strike back against his killers.