Iran’s supreme leader vowed on Saturday to retaliate for the assassination of the Islamic republic’s top nuclear scientist, increasing the threat of a new confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to continue the work of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who Western governments and Israel believe was the architect of a secret nuclear weapons program. iraní.
The assassination on Friday, for which Iran’s president quickly blamed Israel, could complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s efforts to revive ties with Tehran forged in the Barack Obama administration.
Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 international nuclear pact agreed between Tehran and the major powers. Khamenei, who is Iran’s highest authority and who says the country has never sought to have nuclear weapons, said on Twitter that officials iranThey must take on the task of investigating the crime and “punishing its perpetrators.”
Fakhrizadeh, who was not well known in Iran but whom Israel named as a major player in what it says is Iran’s search for nuclear weapons, was killed on Friday when he was ambushed near Tehran and his car was shot. He was rushed to the hospital where he died.
President iranHe, Hassan Rouhani, said in a televised meeting on Saturday that Iran will respond “at the right time.”
“Once again the evil hands and the Zionist mercenaries were stained with the blood of a son iraní, “Rouhani said, using terms that country officials use to refer to Israel.
Israel’s army radio said some Israeli embassies had gone on high alert after the threats iranYes, although there were no reports of specific attacks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, and a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the foreign ministry did not address security issues regarding overseas missions.
“On November 27, 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and several civilians were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and goes against the principle of respect for human rights upheld by the EU. “, declared this Saturday in a statement a spokesman for the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.
The community club assured the assassination of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fajrizadeh that “in these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that all parties remain calm and exercise maximum restraint to avoid an escalation that cannot be of interest to anyone.” The spokesman for the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has expressed the same line, in which he asks to avoid taking steps that could lead to a worsening of the situation.
Fakhrizadeh, 62, died while being treated at a hospital after his car was ambushed by gunmen, in Damavand county, near Tehran.
Iranian news agencies reported that the attackers they blew up a car bomb near the scientist’s car and then shot him.
The Iranian Defense Ministry reported that “after a confrontation between the terrorists and their bodyguards, Fakhrizadeh was seriously injured and was rushed to hospital.”
The Fars news agency, close to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), published on Friday photos of two vehicles related to the deadly attack on Fakhrizadeh.
The images showed several holes in the windshield of the scientist’s car from the shots.
Another image, which is not very clear, shows the damage of an apparent explosion. Fars cited witnesses who explain that an explosion was heard first and then firearm detonations.
The scientist was transferred to a hospital and died a few minutes after being admitted.
“Unfortunately, the medical team failed to revive him and a few minutes ago the administrator and scientist achieved the high status of martyr after years of effort and struggle,” explained the Ministry of Defense.
Fakhrizadeh was born in 1958 in the city of Qom, Iran. He was professor of Physics and has been identified in the West as director dthe Amad Project, the alleged 1989 covert program to advance the manufacture of a nuclear bomb.
The program was canceled in 2003, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.