Iran has held a funeral for its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated on Friday in an attack that it has blamed on Israel.

Defence Minister Amir Hatami vowed in a speech to avenge Fakhrizadeh’s death and continue his path “vigorously”.

Another official said those behind the killing had “used electronic equipment” and not been present at the scene.

Israel has not commented on the claims. But it believed Fakhrizadeh oversaw a secret nuclear weapons programme.

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

The funeral ceremony for Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was held at the defence ministry in Tehran, before his remains were transferred to a cemetery in the north of the capital.

Iranian state television showed the flag-draped coffin being carried by troops, and senior officials – including Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, Revolutionary Guards commander Gen Hossein Salami and nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi – paying their respects.

“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,” Gen Hatami said.

“We will severely pursue the criminals. They must know that they will be punished for their actions.”

As head of Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known by its Persian acronym SPND, Fakhrizadeh had carried out “considerable work” in the area of “atomic defence”, the general said.

The government would double SPND’s budget in order to continue the path of the “martyr doctor” with “with more speed and more power”, he added.

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