A photograph released by the semi-official Fars News Agency showing the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, on Friday.
A photograph released by the semi-official Fars News Agency showing the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, on Friday.
AP

The United Nations is calling for keeping restraint and avoiding the escalation of tensions in the Middle East after the assassination of the Iranian scientist, the deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general said.

"We have noted the reports that an Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated near Tehran today. We urge restraint and the need to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region," Farhan Haq said on late Friday.

The Iranian Defense Ministry said on Friday that the head of its research and innovation center, nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, had been killed.

In a Twitter post, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel of being involved in the death of the nuclear scientist, and called on the international community to condemn the act, which he called one of "state terror."

Meanwhile, Iran has warned the United States and Israel against "adventuristic" steps and stressed that Tehran has a right to protect its interests, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in a letter to the UN secretary-general and Security Council.

"Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests," Ravanchi said in the letter on late Friday.

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