Mohsen Fakhrizadeh laid to rest in Mashhad, Iran
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh laid to rest in Mashhad, IranReuters

Iran's armed forces on Tuesday slammed the country’s intelligence minister for alleging one of its members was involved in the killing of top nuclear scientist Moshen Fakhrizadeh, AFP reports.

Fakhrizadeh was travelling on a highway outside Tehran accompanied by a security detail on November 27 when he was killed by machine-gun fire.

Iran’s 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".

On Sunday, he said the suspect was an "ex-member of the armed forces" and had left Iran before the assassination.

However, the Iranian army on Tuesday rejected the comments, saying the suspect Alavi was referring to 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 said in a statement quoted by AFP.

The individual had "never been officially recruited" and as a civilian "would fall under the jurisdiction of the intelligence ministry" for monitoring, it added.

Iran has accused Israel of directing Fakhrizadeh’s death, calling his elimination an act of "state terrorism".

Senior Iranian military officials have vowed to avenge the killing of the top nuclear scientist.