Iran’s supreme leader has apparently vowed revenge after killing top nuclear scientist
Mohsin Fakhrizade, who became the face of Iran’s controversial nuclear program, was killed on Friday in a district east of Tehran, in which Iranian officials are calling the killing.
“There are two matters that the people in charge should put on their list: 1- To take atrocities and vengeance against those who were responsible for it. 2- To follow the scientific and technical activities of Shaheed Fakhrizadeh in all fields. He was active Was, “Khamenei wrote in a tweet on Saturday that it is often attributed to him, which reveals the country’s nuclear activities.
He said: “Our eminent nuclear scientist, Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizade, was killed by oppressive enemies in defense of our country. This rare scientific mind lost his life for his great scientific work. He owed his life to God and the Supreme Leader. Life lost. God will reward him greatly.
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen-Aamir Hatami said Fakhrzadeh was targeted by gunmen ambushed and Nissan vehicle explosions, before a fire department reported to the semi-official news agency ISNA.
In a cabinet meeting on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said that the country would retaliate and point to Israel for an attack. “Think tanks and Iran’s enemies should know that the Iranian nation and the officers in charge in the country are brave and determined to respond to the killing on time”.
He added that the killing was “in the dirty hands of the oppressed, in concert with the illegal Zionist regime.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on Friday called the killing “with a serious hint of cowardice – Israel’s role”.
Iran has not provided any evidence of Israeli involvement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment to CNN on Friday.
In April 2018, Netanyahu mentioned Fakhrizadeh when he unveiled a nuclear collection in which he said Israeli agents smuggled from Iran. They called him the head of a secret nuclear project called Project Amad. Netanyahu told reporters, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”.
Fakhrizadeh has also been cited in several reports by the US State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency as having deep insight into Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
US officials say ‘killing a big deal’
Fakhrizadeh was the head of the new technology research center in the Elite Revolutionary Guards, and was a pioneer in Iran’s nuclear program for many years.
The assassination between Tehran and Washington in the final weeks of US President Donald Trump’s term may increase tensions. US-Iran relations have deteriorated rapidly during Trump’s presidency.
Iran withdrew from its commitments to the 2015 historic nuclear deal in 2019, a year after Trump withdrew from the deal and imposed a crippling ban on the country.
The Trump administration said it was closely monitoring the apparent assassination. An American official told CNN “Death would be a big deal.”
Trump on Friday retweeted a post by a prominent Israeli journalist, Yossi Mailman, who wrote: “According to reports in Iran, Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi was killed in Damavand, east of Tehran. He heads Iran’s secret military program Were and have been wanted by Mossad for many years. ” The death is a major psychological and professional setback for Iran. “
Mossad is Israel’s foreign intelligence agency.
Outside several government buildings, students and young Iranians have held small protests in Tehran for the past two days. Outside the State Department on Saturday, protesters lit up posters showing Trump and US presidential-election Joe Biden as well as US and Israeli flags.
Khamenei’s military advisor, Major General Hossein Dehgan, also accused Israel of assassination, saying the country had “cleverly” ended it as the Trump administration enters its final week in power.
“Zionists, in the last days of their gambler ally’s political life, are pressuring Iran to create an all-out war. The night is too long! We will thus react to the death of this poor martyr. He regrets his action. Will, “he wrote on Twitter, adding Iran would” land like lightning “on Fakhrizadeh’s killers.
The European Union on Saturday condemned the assassination, asking all parties involved in the incident to exercise “maximum restraint” to prevent a possible escalation.
“This is a criminal act and carries on the principle of respect for EU human rights,” a spokesperson for the EU’s diplomatic branch said in a statement.
“In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever for all parties to remain calm and exercise more restraint so as to avoid escalation that may not be in anyone’s interest.”
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office said it was “urgently trying to establish the facts” following reports of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination.
Hezbollah of Lebanon, an Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group, also condemned the killing. Hezbollah’s second commander Naeem Kasem said US and Israeli agents were behind the assassination.
CNN’s Ramin Mostagim reported from Tehran, Angela Dewan from London and Samantha Beach reported from Atlanta.
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