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Iran’s military slams spy chief for saying soldier tied to nuke scientist death

Iran’s military slams the intelligence minister for alleging one of its members was involved in a top nuclear scientist’s killing, and says the suspect had been ejected from the force years ago.

The suspect was a trainee in the Iranian year beginning in March 2014 and “dismissed the same year due to moral issues and addiction,” the armed forces general staff says in a statement carried by the IRNA state news agency.

The individual had “never been officially recruited” and as a civilian “would fall under the jurisdiction of the intelligence ministry” for monitoring, it says, in a rare public row between a security service and the military in the Islamic republic.

Top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was traveling on a highway outside Tehran accompanied by a security detail on November 27 when he came under machine-gun fire, according to Iranian authorities, who have blamed Israel.

The scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital Tehran, Iran, November 27, 2020 (Fars News Agency via AP); inset: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in an undated photo (Courtesy)

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said in an interview with state television on February 8 that a member of the armed forces “carried out the first preparations” for the killing, and that it was not possible for his ministry “to keep watch over the armed forces.”

The armed forces say they expect Alavi “to be more careful in his remarks to the media” so as not to serve the interests of Iran’s enemies and safeguard “the dignity of the armed forces” and his ministry.

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