Aftermath of elimination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
Aftermath of elimination of Mohsen FakhrizadehReuters

Iran’s judiciary announced on Tuesday that nine people will face the death penalty over the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, AFP reported.

Fakhrizadeh was killed when his car was ambushed on a highway outside Tehran in November 2020.

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

Initial reports claimed Fakhrizadeh was gunned down by a remote-controlled machine gun. Last September, The New York Times reported that the scientist was killed by a robot.

The nine defendants were charged with "corruption on earth" and collusion with Israel, both capital offences in the Islamic republic, judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi said Tuesday, according to AFP.

"Fakhrizadeh's case has 15 defendants," Setayeshi told a news conference.

Along with those facing the death penalty, a further six people had "other accusations" levelled against them, he said.

In September, Tehran's chief prosecutor Ali Salehi announced that 14 people were indicted in the case.

The charges against them included "colluding with the purpose of disrupting national security" and "actions against national security", Salehi said at the time.