Esmail Ghaani
Esmail GhaaniReuters

Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, blamed Israel for the elimination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

"The enemy (Israel) does not dare to wage war against Iran like men, but the end of Israel is approaching ... This assassination is one of the desperate attempts of the arrogant international thieves,” said Ghaani, according to the IRNA news agency.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of prosecuting those involved in the crime of eliminating the scientist.

In a letter to the Iranian nation, Khamenei said the assassination was carried out by "criminal agents" and that Fakhrizadeh scientific way would continue even after his death.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also blamed Israel (and the US) for the murder.

Iran's enemies, stated Rouhani, know that the elimination of Fakhrizadeh will not stop Iran's scientific development but would increase its determination to continue his work.

Iran has in the past claimed that Israel hires assassins to kill nuclear scientists throughout the Middle East.

Between 2010 and 2012, four nuclear scientists were assassinated inside Iran and a fifth survived a bomb attack. The government in Iran has blamed the attacks on US, British and Israeli intelligence services.

The US and Britain denied involvement, while Israel has not commented.