The Iranian nuclear physicist and rocket expert Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in an attack, was buried in the capital Tehran on Monday. The ceremony was broadcast live on state television. Because of the corona crisis, only family members of the physicist and high-ranking generals were allowed to attend the funeral.
The 63-year-old Fakhrizadeh was shot dead in a suburb of Tehran on Friday. The perpetrators have not yet been identified, but the Iranian leadership blames “local mercenaries” from the US and Israel for the attack.
“Our enemies know that no crime in Iran will go unanswered and unpunished,” said Defense Minister Amir Hatami in the funeral speech. The “terrorists” should also know that being martyred in Iran is an honor. The fatal attack will not stop the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, since Fakhrizadeh’s path will be continued “even more consistently” by Iranian scientists.
The hardliners in the country are demanding vengeance for the murder of the nuclear physicist. Their mouthpiece, the daily newspaper “Kayhan”, even demands a military attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa. President Hassan Rouhani, however, warns against a drastic reaction, since this is exactly what the assassins wanted to do to provoke a new conflict with Iran.
According to an Iranian television report, an Israeli weapon was used in the attack. The logo and features of the Israeli arms industry were discovered on it, the English-language Press TV reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source. Even before the report was broadcast, Israel’s intelligence minister, Eli Cohen, said on the radio that he did not know who was responsible for the killing of Fachrisadeh.
Iran accused archenemy Israel of being behind the killing of Fachrisadeh and threatens retaliation. In western states and in Israel he was suspected of having been the architect of a covert nuclear weapons program. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons. Fachrisadeh’s death could exacerbate the conflict with Iran in the final weeks of US President Donald Trump’s term in office. At the same time, the new President-elect, Joe Biden, is likely to make efforts to revive the détente from the time of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. (Reuters, apa)