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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/28/20

Iran accuses Israel, U.S. for killing of its nuclear scientist

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Iran accused Israel and the U.S. of being behind the assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists on Friday and vowed revenge, sharply escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf in the final weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, Bloomberg reported.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed close to the Damavand campus of Islamic Azad University, about 60 kilometers east of central Tehran.

No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination. However, in a tweet, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said "terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today," and accused Israel of playing some part in the killing.

Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardicewith serious indications of Israeli roleshows desperate warmongering of perpetrators Iran calls on int'l communityand especially EUto end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror. Javad Zarif.

Tellingly, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had singled out Fakhrizadeh in an April 2018 presentation he gave on Iran's nuclear program, claiming that Fakhrizadeh was the director of a secret project to develop nuclear weapons.

Fakhrizadeh was also named in a March 2007 UN Security Council Resolution as having been involved in Iran's "nuclear or ballistic missile activities."

Iran's army said the U.S. also bore responsibility. The Minister of Defense, Amir Hatami, told state TV the killing was "clearly linked" to the U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by drone in January.

Hatami said Fakhrizadeh was involved in an air-defense project for detecting spy aircraft without using radar systems and that "Israel was well aware of his role in affairs that could confound" Israel.

Mossad steals Iranian documents

According to The Guardian, Israel has acknowledged pursuing covert operations against Iran's nuclear program to gather intelligence. In 2018, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said his government had acquired tens of thousands of documents from what he called Iran's "Atomic Archives".

In that presentation, Netanyahu referred to Fakhrizadeh multiple times as the director of Iran's nuclear weapons project. "Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh," he said.

The New York Times reported on April 30, 2018 that Mossad had broken into a warehouse in January and smuggled them to Israel the same night. The report did not say how such a large amount of documentation was transported in secret.

At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed since 2007, mostly in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants and car-bombs, U.S. officials have previously told NBC News. Tehran has blamed the Israeli intelligence agency for the killings.

'Fakhrizadeh's killing could derail future US-Iran talks'

The assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist will make United States President-elect Joe Biden's ability to restart diplomacy between Washington and Tehran even more difficult, Al Jazeera quoted US-based analysts as saying.

Biden, who will take office on January 20, has said he wants to return to a 2015 international accord that curbed the Iranian nuclear program - a move that would signal a pullback from President Donald Trump's hardline "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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