A top Iranian scientist who was taken out during an attack on Friday was portrayed by his country as being a mere university professor and an academic when, in reality, he was the driving force behind Iran’s nuclear weapons program, according to classified reports.
Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was eliminated while driving his black sedan through the Iranian countryside, was reportedly considered to be at the same level of importance in the Islamic regime as Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani — who was terminated in January by U.S. forces in Iraq.
“Iran never agreed to demands from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitor, to let U.N. inspectors question Mr. Fakhrizadeh, saying he was an academic who lectured at the Imam Hussein University in Tehran,” The New York Times reported. “Mr. Fakhrizadeh was an academic, but a series of classified reports, notably a lengthy 2007 assessment done by the C.I.A. for the George W. Bush administration, said the academic role was a cover story. In 2008, his name was added to a list of Iranian officials whose assets were ordered frozen by the United States.”
Investigators later learned that Fakhrizadeh was in charge of operating Projects 110 and 111, which the Times notes were code names for efforts to solve the most difficult problems that scientists face in creating a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on top of a missile that is able to withstand re-entry into the atmosphere without detonating.
Fakhrizadeh maintained a low profile until 2018 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed information about him that had been obtained during a massive seizure of highly classified Iranian nuclear documents. “But in recent years, Fakhrizadeh’s reticence toward publicity appeared to have slipped,” The Washington Post reported. “He appeared on official Iranian websites at events with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ultimately, that may have been his downfall.”
“Iran had lied about the purpose of its nuclear research, he charged, and he identified Mr. Fakhrizadeh as the leader of the Amad program,” the Times reports. During that press conference, Netanyahu said, “remember that name” when he spoke of Fakhrizadeh.
During the secretive raid in Iran, Israeli operatives seized half a ton of materials inside Iran’s vaults, including “55,000 pages of documents and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
Fakhrizadeh’s death sent a chilling message to other Iranian nuclear scientists: The country’s top nuclear scientist, who was reportedly one of its most guarded scientists, was easily eliminated within its own borders. Fakhrizadeh’s killing comes just a couple of weeks after Israeli operatives terminated Al Qaeda’s second-highest leader in Tehran, the capital of Iran, at the request of the United States.
“The Qaeda figure, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri and was accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa,” the Times added. “He was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden.”
For more than 20 years, Fakhrizadeh was believed to be the “driving force” behind Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. His work continued after Iran disbanded, at least publicly, their nuclear weapons program in 2003.
In a 2017 interview with The Daily Wire, nuclear weapons expert Dr. Peter Vincent Pry explained where Iran was in terms of developing a nuclear weapon in 2003:
Pry explained that the U.S. has no credible verification system setup with Iran, and hostile nations have fooled the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) multiple times.
“Even the IAEA in their 2011 report, if people would read it, found things that were so alarming … there’s a virtual smoking gun that Iran already has the bomb,” Pry continued. “The IAEA was reporting it found prior to 2003 that Iran was already manufacturing bridge wire detonators, neutron initiators, they had done an implosion test already, they had done 14 different designs correct for a nuclear warhead to see if they could fit the psychics package for a nuclear warhead into the reentry vehicle for the Shahab-3 high explosive warhead.”
Pry said it was blatantly obvious that Iran most likely already has nuclear weapons, saying that “anyone with half a brain” could see it.
“Because when we were doing things like that back in the Manhattan project days when we were working with 1930s and 1940s aero technology,” Pry continued. “When the United States was doing implosion tests and building bridge wire detonators, and neutron initiators, we were within 3-6 months of getting the bomb.”
“It’s just implausible that Iran before 2003 was at that stage and then never crossed the finish line,” Pry concluded.