Iran: Tehran refutes claims top al-Qaeda member shot down in Iranian capital

Iran's Foreign Ministry refuted claims that al-Qaeda's second-highest leader was killed in Tehran in August by Israeli operatives, during a press conference in the Iranian capital on Monday. Referring to a New York Times article that claimed that al-Qaeda second-in-command Muhammad al-Masri was shot down by two hitmen in Tehran on August 7, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said «it is better for these people who write these Hollywood scripts to at least first think about where they finally killed him and then decide to say it was in the streets of Tehran.» According to the Times' report, al-Masri was killed along with his daughter Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden. After news of the assassination broke, Iranian media identified the deceased as Lebanese history professor Habib Daoud and his daughter Maryam. According to the Times, Daoud was an alias given to al-Masri by Iranian officials and the the academia job was a cover. Tensions between Iran and the US worsened after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed a series of tough sanctions on Tehran.

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