Iran: Assassination of Top Nuclear Scientist

Iran’s high-ranking nuclear physicist assassinated near Tehran

Iran’s prominent nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot and killed on Friday while traveling along with his bodyguards east of Tehran. Fakhrizadeh’s car was attacked by a roadside ambush which confirms, according to Iran, that it was an assassination.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the assassination indicating that “this cowardice- with serious indications of Israeli role- shows desperate warmongering of the perpetrators”. Zarif also called on the international community, especially the EU to end their double standards and condemn this act of terrorism.

The Former CIA Director John O. Brennan described the attack in a tweet as “a criminal act and highly reckless.” Warning it may engender “lethal retaliation and a new round of regional conflict.” Brennan added that “the Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage and to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.”

A former vice president Mohamad Ali Abtahi said that “the assassination of the martyr Fakhrizadeh is unfortunate” claiming that the attack was the result of the meeting that took place between Bin Salman, Pompeo and Netanyahu a few days ago in Saudi Arabia.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh comes ten months after the United States killed the Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone attack in Iraq.

The killing of Fakhrizadeh, who was the head of Iran’s secret military program and wanted by the Mossad, spawned many demonstrations across Iran demanding revenge.

It is worth noting that this is not the first attack that targets Iranian scientists. Between 2010 and 2012 only, four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated allegedly at the hands of Israeli terrorists.

This assassination heightens the tensions between the United States, which is suspected of having abetted Israel in this crime, and Iran. The conflict between the two countries have escalated after President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 deal that Iran had concluded with the UK, France, Russia, China, Germany and US.

The Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Trita Parsi said is a thread on twitter that “if it turns out that Israel was behind the assassination, have no illusions about Netanyahu’s desire to drag the US into another endless war in the Middle East.”

On Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued threats of reprisal against the perpetrators of the assassination. Following these threats, Israel put its embassies around the world on alert.

 

 

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