Iran on Monday held a funeral for a recently killed scientist who founded the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program in the early 2000s.
State TV broadcast the ceremony, showing the casket of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. An honor guard carried it to a podium where reciters read the Quran and other religious verses in an outdoor area of the Defense Ministry in Iran's capital, Tehran.
Officials, including Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami, attended the ceremony, sitting apart from each other and wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The enemy knows he cannot commit a crime without a response from the Iranian people, the blood of the martyr Fakhrizadeh will be remembered forever, the enemy has made a mistake in killing him," said Hatami during the service.
"The scientist's killing will not halt the continued progress of Iran's nuclear program, but only accelerate it. Our response is certain."
Hatami also called the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. - and the stockpile of atomic bombs Israel long has been suspected of holding - "the most dangerous threat against humanity."
Fakhrizadeh was killed in a military-style ambush Friday on the outskirts of Tehran, which reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on the scientist.
The Iranian defense ministry announced Sunday that it "had a lead" on the identity of the perpetrators and that the information "will be publicized very soon."
Iran has blamed Israel for the attack. Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has declined to comment on the killing.