01/12/2012 03:02 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2012

Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran Supreme Leader, Says Those Behind Scientist Murder Will Be Punished

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that those behind the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran would be punished, the official Irna news agency reported.

"We will continue our path with strong will ... and certainly we will not neglect punishing those responsible for this act and those behind it," Khamenei was quoted as saying.

Iran blamed its arch-enemies, Israel and the United States, for a blast which killed the nuclear scientist in his car on Wednesday, insisting the incident would not change the country's nuclear course.

The U.S. and its allies say Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at producing weapons. Iran says the programme is for peaceful purposes only. (Writing by Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Louise Ireland)