Iran’s top nuclear scientist murdered, foreign minister accuses Israel

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Tehran : Mohsin Fakhrizadeh, the top scientist leading Iran’s secret atomic bomb program, was ambushed near Tehran on Friday. Hosain Dehghan, military advisor and commander of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has threatened to wreak havoc on Fakhrizadeh’s killers. This is expected to increase the confrontation between Iran and its enemies in the last few weeks of US President Donald Trump’s term.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet, has suspected Israel’s involvement in the assassination. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the US Department of Defense Pentagon have not commented on the attack.

However, US President Trump retweeted a tweet by Yossi Melman, a journalist with knowledge of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, describing the killing as “great psychological and professional trauma for Iran”. Born in 1958, Fakhrizadeh was banned by the United Nations Security Council and the United States for the ‘Amad’ program.

State media reports said the killers opened fire on the nuclear scientist’s car, killing him in the hospital after being injured. A semi-government news agency reported that the militants blew up another car before firing bullets at Fakhrizadeh’s car.

The nuclear scientist spearheaded Iran’s ‘Amad’ or ‘Hope’ program. Israel and Western countries accused it of being a military program and that it was a feasibility test to build nuclear weapons in Iran. However, Tehran has always maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says the ‘Amad’ program has been completed and its inspectors are monitoring Iranian nuclear facilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2018 that Iran is still working towards building nuclear weapons, as nuclear scientists have been working on a special project with the Iranian Ministry of Defense. He also said at that time that Fakhrizadeh should be remembered.

Before the news of the attack on nuclear scientists came on Friday, an Israeli official said that Israel is in discussions with Arab countries to deal with Iran. Before that, on January 12, 2010, even a nuclear scientist Masood Ali Muhammad was killed by a remote bomb. Although the political reason behind the murder was stated.

Israel has been accused of complicity behind the murder Iran emphasizes its nuclear program, especially for peaceful purposes. Four Iranian nuclear scientists were murdered between 2010 and 2012, and Iran accused Israel of complicity in the killings. Fakhrizadeh’s name was specifically mentioned in Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s presentation of Iran’s nuclear program in May 2018.

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