Iran’s Top Nuke Scientist Killed, Tehran Sees Israel Role

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist was killed on Friday in an apparent assassination that the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif linked to Israel.

However, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has not commented on the incident, according to CNN. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was head of the research center of new technology in the elite Revolutionary Guards.

CNN further reported that the Iranian state media said that the killing “appeared to be” an assassination. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif called the death “cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role.”

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” his tweet read and added, “This cowardice–with serious indications of Israeli role–shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators Iran calls on the international community–and especially EU–to end their shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror.”

US President Donald Trump retweeted a tweet from the prominent Israeli journalist Yossi Melman that read, “Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran according to reports in Iran. He was head of Iran’s secret military program and wanted for many years by Mossad. His death is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran.”

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri said that there would be “severe revenge” against “the killers” of Fakhrizadeh, according to IRNA.

“The assassination of this capable and worthy manager, although it was a bitter and heavy blow to the country’s defense complex, but the enemies know that the path started by the martyr Fakhrizadeh will never be stopped,” Bagheri said, as reported by IRNA.

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in a letter to the UN secretary-general and Security Council after the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist: “Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests.”

The American media outlet reported that a US official said that the Trump administration said it is closely monitoring the situation and added that the death would be a big deal.

Trita Parsi, the co-founder and executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said that with regard to the assassination suspects, “there are not that many candidates.”

“At the end of the day the only countries that actually have the intent, the motivation and the capacity — and the capacity is really important — really reduces the number of candidates to no more than Israel and potentially the United States,” he told CNN.

Iran started to withdraw from the commitments of the 2015 nuclear deal in 2019, which was a year after Trump pulled out of the agreement and unleashed sanctions on Iran. (ANI)

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