Iran’s supreme leader vows revenge after top nuclear scientist apparently assassinated

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who turned the face of Iran’s controversial nuclear program, was killed in an obvious ambush in a district east of Tehran on Friday. Photos from the scene confirmed the shattered windshield of a automotive, and blood on the highway.

“There are two matters that people in charge should put in their to do list: 1- To follow up the atrocity and retaliate against those who were responsible for it. 2- To follow up Martyr Fakhrizadeh’s scientific and technical activities in all fields in which he was active,” Khamenei wrote Saturday in a tweet from an account typically attributed to him, making a veiled reference to the nation’s nuclear actions.

He added: “Our distinguish nuclear scientist in the defense of our country, Mr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed by the oppressive enemies. This rare scientific mind lost his life for his everlasting great scientific work. He lost his life for God and the supreme leader. God shall reward him greatly.”

At a cupboard assembly Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated: “The think tanks and the enemies of Iran must know that the Iranian nation and the officials in charge in the country arIe brave and determined to respond to the murder in time.”

A view of the scene where Fakhrizadeh was killed, in Absard, Iran on Friday.

Rouhani and different senior officers had earlier accused Israel of orchestrating the killing, additionally vowing to retaliate.

In a press release printed by semi-official information company Fars, Rouhani laid blame on Israel for the assault: “Once again, the filthy hands of oppressors, in concert with the illegitimate Zionist regime, are tainted with the blood of one of the distinguished sons of this land and have thusly saddened the people of Iran for the loss of such a distinguished servant and scientist.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s had on Friday known as the killing “cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role.”

Iran has supplied no proof of Israeli involvement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s workplace declined to remark to CNN on Friday.

In April 2018, Netanyahu talked about Fakhrizadeh by title when he unveiled a nuclear archive that he stated Israeli brokers has smuggled out of Iran. He known as him the pinnacle of a secret nuclear venture known as Project Amad. “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” Netanyahu advised reporters.

Killing ‘a giant deal,’ US official says

Fakhrizadeh was head of the analysis middle of latest expertise within the elite Revolutionary Guards, and was a number one determine in Iran’s nuclear program for a few years.

The killing might additional gas tensions between Tehran and Washington within the remaining weeks of US President Donald Trump’s time period. US-Iran relations have quickly deteriorated throughout Trump’s presidency.

Iran started to withdraw from its commitments to the 2015 landmark nuclear deal in 2019, a yr after Trump pulled out of the settlement and unleashed crippling sanctions on the nation.

Trump on Friday retweeted a submit by distinguished Israeli journalist Yossi Melman, who wrote: “Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran according to reports in Iran. He was head of Iran’s secret military program and wanted for many years by Mossad. His death is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran.”

Mossad is the overseas intelligence company of Israel.

The Trump administration stated it was carefully monitoring the obvious assassination. A US official advised CNN the loss of life “would be a big deal.”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, additionally condemned the killing. Hezbollah’s second-in-command, Naim Qassem, stated that brokers of the US and Israel had been behind the assassination.

Fakhrizadeh is talked about in a number of experiences by the US State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency as holding deep perception into Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim reported from Tehran, Angela Dewan reported from London and Samantha Beech reported from Atlanta.

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