Transcript for Top Iranian nuclear scientist killed
Now to the death of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. ABC's Julia Macfarlane joins us from London with reaction to the apparent assassination and what it could mean for the future of a nuclear deal. Good morning, Julia. Reporter: Good morning, Eva this was a brazen attack. The Iranian president this morning vowing to exact revenge, mohsen fakhrizadeh was shot and killed in an ambush as he was traveling through the countryside just east of the capital of Tehran and his bodyguards rushed him to the hospital where he later died of his wounds. Describing the assassination as an act of state terror, serious indications that Israel was to blame. Mohsen fakhrizadeh was the driving force behind Iran's atomic weapons program. He was the country's most renowned nuclear scientist as well as a senior officer in that elite force known as the irgc and in 2018 he was even named by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They said Israel was behind the assassination of four other of their nuclear scientists who were killed between 2010 and 2012. Now, Israel has never publicly confirmed or denied involvement, but has always said they won't tolerate a nuclear Iran. Julia, this assassination comes in the final weeks of the trump administration. What is the significance of that? Reporter: Right, well, remember two years ago president trump withdrew the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal. That agreement which lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran to dismantle their nuclear program and since then Iran has gone back to ramping up their enrichment program and Joe Biden has signaled that he wants to rejoin that accord. But this brazen assassination may make that political maneuvering all the more difficult for the incoming administration. Meanwhile, the former CIA director John Brennan overnight on Twitter describing it as a criminal act and has said that Iranians would be wise to, quote, wait for return of responsible American leadership
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