Mohsin Fakhrzadeh, who became the face of Iran’s controversial nuclear program, was killed in an apparent ambush in a district east of Tehran on Friday. Pictures from the scene showed a broken windshield of a car and blood on the road.
“There are two matters that the people in charge should put on their list: 1- To take atrocities and vengeance against those who were responsible for it. 2- To follow the scientific and technical activities of Shaheed Fakhrizadeh in all fields. He was active Was, “Khamenei wrote in a tweet on Saturday that it is often attributed to him, which reveals the country’s nuclear activities.
He said: “In defense of our country our nuclear scientist, Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizade, was killed by oppressive enemies. This rare scientific mind lost his life for his great scientific work. He owed his life to God and the Supreme Leader. Lost. God will reward him greatly.
In a cabinet meeting on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “Think tanks and Iran’s enemies should know that the officials in charge in the Iranian nation and the country are brave and determined to respond to the assassination on time.”
Rouhani and other senior officials previously accused Israel of orchestrating the assassination, also trying to seek retribution.
In a statement published by the quasi-government news agency Fars, Rouhani blamed Israel for the attack: “Once again, with the Zionist regime, the Zalim’s dirty hands have been stained with the blood of an iconic son. This land. K and has grieved the people of Iran for the loss of such a distinguished servant and scientist. “
Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on Friday called the killing “with a serious hint of cowardice – Israel’s role”.
Iran has not provided any evidence of Israeli involvement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment to CNN on Friday.
In April 2018, Netanyahu mentioned Fakhrizadeh when he unveiled a nuclear collection in which he said Israeli agents smuggled from Iran. They called him the head of a secret nuclear project called Project Amad. Netanyahu told reporters, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”.
US officials say ‘killing a big deal’
Fakhrizadeh was the head of the new technology research center in the Elite Revolutionary Guards, and was a pioneer in Iran’s nuclear program for many years.
The assassination between Tehran and Washington in the final weeks of US President Donald Trump’s term may increase tensions. US-Iran relations have deteriorated rapidly during Trump’s presidency.
Iran withdrew from its commitments to the 2015 historic nuclear deal in 2019, a year after Trump pulled out of the deal and imposed a crippling ban on the country.
Trump on Friday retweeted a post by a prominent Israeli journalist, Yossi Mailman, who wrote: “According to reports in Iran, Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi was killed in Damavand, east of Tehran. He heads Iran’s secret military program Were and have been wanted by Mossad for many years. ” The death is a major psychological and professional setback for Iran. “
Mossad is Israel’s foreign intelligence agency.
The Trump administration said it was closely monitoring the apparent assassination. An American official told CNN “Death would be a big deal.”
Hezbollah of Lebanon, an Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group, also condemned the killing. Hezbollah’s second commander Naeem Kasem said US and Israeli agents were behind the assassination.
Fakhrizadeh has been cited in numerous reports by the US State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency as having deep insight into Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
CNN’s Ramin Mostagim reported from Tehran, Angela Dewan from London and Samantha Beach reported from Atlanta.