Deputy Iranian Minister Shot Dead in Tehran

Unidentified assailants shoot dead Iran's deputy minister for industry and mining.

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Elad Benari,

AFP photo

Unidentified assailants shot dead Iran's deputy minister for industry and mining, Safdar Rahmat Abadi, in Tehran on Sunday night, AFP reports, citing the official IRNA news agency.

IRNA reported that Rahmat Abadi had been fatally shot in the head and chest as he was driving in the east of the capital.

Citing a police officer at the scene, the report said the shots had been fired from inside Rahmat Abadi's car as bullet shells had been found inside the vehicle whose windows were intact.

Mehr, another Iranian news agency, quoted the Tehran governor's deputy for security affairs, Safarali Baratlou, as confirming the shooting, without further elaboration.

Over the past few years, several Iranian officials and scientists have been killed in mysterious circumstances. The Islamic Republic has blamed Israel for the killings but has also pointed a finger at the U.S. and Britain.

Britain and the U.S. have denied involvement, while Israel has not officially commented.

In October it was reported that Mojtaba Ahmadi, the head of Iran’s cyber warfare program, had been shot dead.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard later denied the death was assassination, saying it was due to a "horrific accident."

The last victim of a known assassination was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemist who worked in the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, who died when an explosive device blew up on his car in January last year.