Few outside of Iran had ever heard of the city of Absard until senior Defense Ministry official and nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed on the main road that links it to the capital Tehran. The city’s name means cold water, and Nov. 27 certainly poured it on the Iranian establishment, bringing into question the efficiency of the security institutions and the abilities of the country’s enemies to impede Tehran’s strategic projects.
Fakhrizadeh, described by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the father of Iran’s military nuclear project, had just ended a lunch at his in-laws and was in his car in a convoy of three vehicles heading back to Tehran. According to Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatemi, a group of armed men rained bullets on his bodyguards’ car, forcing the convoy to stop. Then a truck on the side of the road rigged with explosives was detonated, and the armed men once again opened fire, killing most of Fakhrizadeh’s men as well as the scientist himself, in view of his wife who was in the third car.