An unidentified gunman has shot and killed Iran's deputy industries minister, according to state news agency IRNA.

Safdar Rahmatabadi, who was also the minister for mines and trade, was shot twice in his head and chest on Sunday in an eastern neighbourhood of Tehran, IRNA reported.

Police said they believed that the deputy minister had been shot by someone who had been travelling with him in his vehicle, as bullet shells had been found inside the car, whose windows were intact.

IRNA quoted a police officer at the scene as saying that there were no signs of a struggle or beating at the site of the assassination.

Police said the murder took place at approximately 7:50pm local time (15:50 GMT).

An official investigation into the murder has been opened. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Rahmatabadi was not a well-known public figure in moderate President Hassan Rouhani's government.

The Mehr news agency quoted Safarali Baratlou, the Tehran governor's deputy for security affairs, as confirming the shooting, without further elaboration.

This is the second attack in recent days on a government official in Iran.

On Wednesday, a gunman killed an Iranian state prosecutor in a restive southeastern region near the country's border with Pakistan.

Iranian Sunni Muslim fighters claimed responsibility for the killing of the prosecutor, saying it was revenge for the hanging of 16 prisoners carried out by judiciary officials after an attack by the Jaish ul-Adl group in which 14 border guards were killed.

Source: Agencies