Vastavam web: Iran vowed revenge on Saturday for the assassination a day earlier of its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, raising the threat of a new confrontation between the Islamic Republic and the West with just over seven weeks left of US President Donald Trump’s term in office. “Once again, the evil hands of global arrogance were stained with the blood of the mercenary usurper Zionist regime,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said. “Iran will surely respond to the martyrdom of our scientist at the proper time.”
Pictures from the scene showed two vehicles, one damaged in an explosion and another riddled with bullets in what appeared like a professional hit. Fakhrizadeh was a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer and headed Iran’s nuclear weapons project. He was a professor of physics at the Imam Hussein University in Tehran and was former head of Iran’s Physics Research Center (PHRC). He was the only Iranian scientist named in the IAEA’s 2015 “final assessment” of open questions about Iran’s nuclear program. It said he oversaw activities “in support of a possible military dimension to (Iran’s) nuclear program.”
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to continue the work of Fakhrizadeh, whom Western and Israeli governments have dubbed the Iranian version of Robert Oppenheimer, one of the heads of the Manhattan Project. “We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” Dehghan wrote.
Fakhrizadeh has been a target of interest for Israeli intelligence agencies for the last 15 years. In 2018, at the unveiling of Iran’s secret nuclear archive acquired by the Mossad, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Fakhrizadeh and said: “remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”