The death of Iran’s chief nuclear scientist is prompting Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to vow two things: exacting revenge and continuing his work.
Iranian officials believe that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated near Tehran on Friday and are blaming Israel without providing evidence. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the killing “cowardice with serious indications of Israeli role.”
ISNA, a semi-official news agency for Iran, cited a military official in describing that Fakhrizadeh was ambushed by a vehicle explosion and gunmen before a firefight in Damavand.
“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 apparently tweeted Saturday in an account attributed to him, calling Fakhrizadeh a “rare scientific mind.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is “determined to respond to the murder in time” and that the killing was “in concert with the illegitimate Zionist regime.”
U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted a post of Israeli journalist Yossi Melman, who wrote that Fakhrizadeh’s death “is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran.” Iran withdrew from nuclear deal commitments in 2019, a year after Trump broke the 2015 landmark deal.
If the accusation on Israel are proven true, a 2018 statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu becomes foreshadowing. Upon Israeli agents smuggling a Iranian nuclear archive, he said, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”