Iran has vowed it won’t "fall into the trap” of scuppering any future talks with a new U.S. administration following the assassination of a top nuclear scientist.

"Iran’s scientific and defense policies won’t change because of the assassination of one scientist or general,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said in a statement Sunday posted on the government’s official website. The Islamic Republic "shouldn’t fall into the trap of linking the assassination to past nuclear negotiations,” he said.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a veteran physicist who played a major role in Iran’s nuclear research and defense activities, was killed in a bombing and shooting ambush outside Tehran on Friday. Iran has blamed Israel, which had accused Fakhrizadeh of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb project and hasn’t commented on the allegation.