Iranian intelligence services did not rule out the possible killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, but didn't take it seriously, secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said.
"The enemy has been trying to eliminate him for twenty years, but didn't succeed until now," the IRIB television and radio corporation cited him as saying. And this time, "Iranian security forces predicted the possibility of such an action," even the place of the attempt, Shamkhani said.
However, intelligence officials "did not take seriously enough" the possibility of an assassination attempt due to the multitude of rumors about it, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council explained. He also said that a completely new way of organizing the assassination attempt on Fakhrizada was used.
Fakhrizadeh, long suspected by Western and Israeli government of masterminding a secret nuclear weapons program, was ambushed on a highway near Tehran on November 27 and gunned down in his car. The Iranian leadership believes that Israel was responsible for Fakhrizadeh's death.