- The 59-year-old Iranian scientist, suspected of being the mastermind of an ancient nuclear program in the country, was killed on Friday in an ambush outside Tehran.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said it would not comment on the attack.
- Trump withdrew from the 2018 nuclear deal with Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic of using nuclear technology to build weapons of mass destruction.
- Joe Biden, has promised to resume ties with Iran through diplomacy.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Saturday accused Israel of the murder of it’s scientist,“sowing chaos” and acting as a “mercenary” of the United States. The murdered scientist was one of the top scientists in Iran working on the Iranian nuclear program. Iran has thus vowed retaliation over the murder.
“Once again, the evil hands of global arrogance were stained with the blood of the mercenary usurper Zionist regime,” said Rohani, in a statement published on his official website, referring to the murder of the Iranian scientist, one Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The 59-year-old Iranian scientist, suspected of being the mastermind of an ancient nuclear program in the country, was killed on Friday in an ambush outside Tehran.
According to the Iranian press, Fakhrizadeh died in the hospital after his car was shot by several snipers. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Fakhrizadeh led the so-called Amad, or Esperança program. Israel and the West claimed that this military operation was aimed at knowing the feasibility of building nuclear weapons, but Tehran has always claimed that the program was peaceful. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (Aiea), the program ended in the early 2000s.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said it would not comment on the attack. The Iranian press recalled that Netanyahu once quoted Fakhrizadeh’s name at a press conference in 2018. In accusing Tehran of continuing to search for nuclear weapons, the premier said: “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”.
“The Iranian nation is smarter and wiser than to fall in the Zionist trap,” said Rouhani who added that they are thinking of creating chaos, but they must know that Iran has already seen their intentions and as such, they won’t be successful.
Rohani promised that the specialist’s death “will not disturb” the country’s scientific advances and considered that his murder was due to the “inability” of Iran’s enemies to prevent its development. “The enemies of Iran should know that the bravery of the Iranian people and officials is such that this criminal act will not remain without consequences”, said Rohani, at a weekly meeting dedicated to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly afterwards, the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for “punishment” for those responsible for the crime and for the “scientific and technical effort of the martyr to be continued in all areas in which he worked.”
Tension with USA
The scientist’s assassination could trigger an increase in tension between Tehran and Washington in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency 1st term.
Joe Biden, has promised to resume ties with Iran through diplomacy if he is sworn in as the next president, after four years of Trump’s aggressive stance on the nation.
Trump withdrew from the 2018 nuclear deal with Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic of using nuclear technology to build weapons of mass destruction. In January, a U.S. airstrike under the orders of President Trump killed Iran’s military commander, Qasem Soleimani further spoiling the two countries’ diplomatic ties.