Iran has bestowed martyr status on the nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh at a full state funeral in Tehran, as it weighs how and when to retaliate for an assassination pinned on its arch-foe Israel. In footage carried by state TV Fakhrizadeh’s casket was shown surrounded by flowers and pictures of him, alongside portraits of Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January. An honour guard carried Fakhrizadeh’s body to a podium where reciters read the Qur’an and other religious verses in an outdoor area of the defence ministry. Officials, including the defence minister, Gen Amir Hatami, attended the ceremony, sitting apart from each other and wearing masks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Owing to the scale of the pandemic in Iran, the crowds were kept socially distanced and relatively small. Fakhrizadeh died after an elaborately planned ambush on Friday on the outskirts of Tehran. He was seriously wounded when assailants targeted his car and engaged in a gunfight with his bodyguards, according to Iran’s defence ministry. He was rushed by helicopter to hospital but was pronounced dead. The killing of Fakhrizadeh – described by Israel as the “father”… Read full this story
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