Berlin has urged “all parties” to avoid escalating tensions following the assassination of a senior Iranian scientist in what Tehran suspects to be an Israeli operation. Iran’s leader has pledged to go after those responsible.

“A few weeks before the new US administration takes office, it is important to preserve the scope for talks with Iran so that the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme can be resolved through negotiations,” a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told Reuters in an email.

We therefore urge all parties to refrain from any steps that could lead to a further escalation of the situation.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior Iranian nuclear physicist with close connections to the defense industry, was killed on Friday, reportedly by unidentified gunmen who ambushed his car outside of Tehran.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, pledged to “firmly prosecute” the “perpetrators and commanders” of the attack. Several top Iranian officials pointed towards Israel as the likely culprit. (RT)