Rouhani accuses ‘mercenary’ Israel of killing high Iran scientist | Israel

The Iranian President has accused Israel of killing a senior Iranian nuclear physicist who has long been suspected by the West of creating a secret atomic bomb program, state television reported.

“Once again the evil hands of global arrogance have been stained with the blood of the Zionist mercenary-usurper regime,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement, according to state television’s report on Saturday.

“The murder of the martyr [Mohsen] Fakhrizadeh shows the desperation of our enemies and the depth of their hatred … His martyrdom will not slow our successes. “

Iran’s religious and military rulers have threatened vengeance for the murder of nuclear scientist Fakhrizadeh on Friday, who, according to Iranian media, died in hospital after attackers shot him in his car in Ab-Sard, a suburb in eastern Tehran.

A flyer photo made available by Iranian state television shows the damage after an attack on the car of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near the capital Tehran [AP]Fakhrizade, 63, was a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and an expert in rocket production. At the time of his death, he was head of the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation and Research Organization.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explicitly mentioned Fakhrizadeh by name in a presentation on the Iranian nuclear program in 2018. “Do you remember that name,” he had said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said there was evidence of Israel’s involvement in the attack, but it was unclear who exactly carried out the hit.

The Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Friday that several top Iranian scientists had been killed in “terrorist attacks” over the past ten years. certain foreign quarters ”were responsible.

He called the “cowardly” assassination of Fakhrizadeh an attempt to “devastate” the region and disrupt Iran’s science and technology development.

UN calls for “restraint”

A military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also accused Israel of killing Fakhrizadeh to provoke war.

“In the last days of your… ally’s political life [US President Donald Trump]who have favourited Zionists [Israel] try to increase the pressure on Iran and wage a full-blown war, ”tweeted Commander Hossein Dehghan.

He said Fakhrizadeh’s work would continue to be a “nightmare” for Iranian enemies.

The death of Fakhrizadeh could spark a confrontation between Iran and its rivals in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s US presidency, while also complicating President-elect Joe Biden’s efforts to revive diplomacy with Iran.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Guterres urged restraint.

“We have taken note of reports that an Iranian nuclear scientist was murdered near Tehran today. We call for restraint and the need to avoid measures that could escalate tensions in the region, “said Guterres’ spokesman Farhan Haq.

Al Jazeeras Assed Baig, reporting from Tehran, said Iranian officials already vow to respond while saying their nuclear program will continue.

The murder will also raise questions about the country’s “internal security”, said Baig.

“Iran never allowed him [Fakhrizadeh] be interviewed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, ”said Baig. “His whereabouts were also kept secret.”

The scientist’s killing came due to new concerns about the amount of enriched uranium Iran produces. Enriched uranium is a key component in both the generation of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Trump had asked his close advisers what “options” were available to crack down on Iran’s main nuclear site in Natanz, to which Tehran promised a “devastating response”.

In May 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal with the world powers and imposed harsh economic sanctions that have only escalated since then.

Over the past year, the Trump administration has tried to make it harder for a Biden administration to return to the nuclear deal by realigning Iranian units and individuals who have already been sanctioned with new names related to terrorism.

Iran previously described the Trump administration’s strategy of “maximum pressure” as an example of “economic and medical terrorism”.

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