Iran has begun a funeral for a recently killed scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the early 2000s.
State TV broadcast the ceremony Monday showing the casket of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. An honor guard carried it to a podium where reciters read the Quran and other religious verses in an outdoor area of the Defense Ministry in Iran's capital, Tehran.
Officials, including Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami, attended the ceremony, sitting apart from each other and wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funeral got underway with a religious singer praising Fakhrizadeh and alluding to the martyrdom Imam Hossein, revered 7th century holy figure from whom Shiite Muslims draw inspiration.
A large display showed a picture of Fakhrizadeh next to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as former top general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a January air strike by the US in Baghdad.
The funeral was not open to the public in order to maintain health protocols over the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the defense ministry.
Fakhrizadeh was killed in a military-style ambush Friday on the outskirts of Tehran, which reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on the scientist.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran according to reports in Iran. He was head of Iran’s secret military program and wanted for many years by Mossad. His death is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran.— Yossi Melman (@yossi_melman) November 27, 2020