The funeral for assassinated nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh began on Monday in northern Tehran, as the country’s defense minister vowed retaliation, Reuters reported.

“The enemies know and I, as a soldier, tell them that no crime, no terror and no stupid act will go unanswered by the Iranian people,” said Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, according to the report.

Iran’s state TV broadcast the funeral ceremony, held at the Iranian Defense Ministry in Mashhad with only Fakhrizadeh’s family and senior military officers in attendance, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

His coffin, wrapped in an Iranian flag, was then carried in a procession to the Emamzade Saleh cemetery in northern Tehran, noted the report.

Fakhrizadeh, long suspected by Israel and the United States as the “father” of Iran’s military nuclear program, was shot dead in his vehicle on Friday while driving on a highway near Tehran by what the regime has claimed was an Israeli operation.

In an op-ed on Sunday in the regime-controlled Kayan newspaper, Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei wrote that if Israel indeed was behind the assassination, Tehran should launch an attack on Haifa that “causes heavy human casualties.”

Zarei argued that such an action “will definitely lead to deterrence because the United States and the Israeli regime and its agents are by no means ready to take part in a war and a military confrontation.”

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