The suspected architect of Iran’s military nuclear program was reportedly assassinated on Friday, with the Iranian government claiming Israel was behind the strike.
Mohsen Fahrizade died after a clash between his security team and a group of unidentified attackers in the countryside town of Absard. The Iranian government confirmed Fahrizade’s death and at least one official accused Israel of carrying out a hit on Fahrizade, who was an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “Iran calls on int’l community — and especially EU — to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”
Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators
Iran calls on int'l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 27, 2020
A military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, commander Hossein Dehghan, tweeted, “In the last days of the political life of their … ally (US President Donald Trump), the Zionists (Israel) seek to intensify pressure on Iran and create a full-blown war. … We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
A spokesman for the Israeli government said Israel had “no comment” on Zarif’s allegation, according to NBC News.
Fahrizade is suspected of having led Iran’s own military nuclear research program until the program was officially discontinued in 2003. In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, displaying a massive cache of secret documents that showed Iran had developed a secret nuclear weapons program and it had lied about it, stated that Fahrizade led SPND, an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry working on the secret nuclear program.
Hossein Salami, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, weighed in on Fahrizade’s death, saying, “The assassination of nuclear scientists is the most obvious violent confrontation of the imperialist system to prevent us from gaining access to modern science,” according to Axios.
Michael Mulroy, the former top Middle East policy official at the Pentagon, told the Times that Fahrizade’s death is “a setback to Iran’s nuclear program.”
Fahrizade’s death follows the assassination of Iran’s top military general terror leader Qassem Soleimani in January. Soleimani, along with top militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.
“Soleimani has been called a monster. And he was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead.” President Trump later remarked on the terror leader’s assassination. “He was traveling with the head of Hezbollah; they weren’t there to discuss a vacation; they weren’t there to go to a nice resort somewhere in Baghdad; they were there to discuss bad business, and we saved a lot of lives by terminating his life.”
“He was planning a very big attack and a very bad attack for us and other people. And we stopped him. And I don’t think anybody can complain about it,” Trump said.
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