The New York Times reported that Israel may have been behind the death of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) called the alleged targeting killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist on Friday a "highly reckless" act of "state-sponsored terrorism."

John Brennan, who led the US spy agency under former President Barack Obama, made the scathing comments in a series of Twitter posts following the death of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, widely regarded as the father of Iran's modern nuclear program. 

"This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict," Brennan wrote in the tweet.

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"Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits."

While Brennan said he was not certain that a "foreign government authorized or carried out the murder of Fakhrizadeh," he insisted that "[s]uch an act state-sponsored terrorism would be a flagrant violation of international law & encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials."

The New York Times later reported that an American official and two other intelligence officials confirmed Israel was behind the attack, without giving further details.

Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity regarding security matters, rarely confirming or denying government operations against enemy targets. Read more at i24