Israel today put its embassies on alert for fear of retaliation from Iran that accused it of being behind the death this Friday of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fajrizadeh in the province of Tehran, Israeli media reported.
Asked by Efe, a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied that “they do not comment on matters related to security”, just as yesterday the Prime Minister’s Office declined to demonstrate before the accusations that they are responsible for the murder along with the United States.
Fajrizadeh was killed in an attack in Tehran province, following at least one explosion and a shootout against his vehicle by an unknown number of armed men. Iranian President Hasan Rohaní warned today that his country will respond “at the right time and in the right way,” while accusing Israel of wanting to “create chaos.”
For his part, the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khameneí, ordered the country’s authorities to punish the material and intellectual authors of the murder. For the moment, the Iranian authorities have not reported any arrests related to the attack or disclosed whether the perpetrators were killed in the assault.
Fajrizadeh was the head of the Defense Research and Innovation Organization of the Ministry of Defense, and was regarded by Western intelligence services as the leader of the former secret program to develop nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had singled out the scientist in 2018 as the leader of an alleged secret nuclear program, a week before Washington abandoned the pact between Iran and six powers to limit its nuclear development.
The pact, signed in 2015 and known as JCPOA in its acronym in English, has been seriously weakened since Washington withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Fajrizadeh, 63, was an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran. According to a report by the United Nations Security Council, he also held the position of senior scientist in the Ministry of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Forces and had previously been director of the Physical Research Center (PHRC).
Is considerate the driving force behind the nuclear weapons program in the last 20 years, and he continued to lead work in the area after most of the effort quietly disbanded in the early 2000s, based on US intelligence assessments and Iranian nuclear documents obtained by Israel. In these reports it was known that the nuclear program was officially called Project 111.
Another internal Iranian document from 2007 leaked to Sunday Times from London identified Fakhrizadeh as the president of the Field for the Expansion of Deployment of Advanced Technology (FEDAT) organization, the cover name of the organization that runs Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The document, entitled “Prospects for special activities related to neutrons in the next 4 years”, establishes that period of time to develop a uranium deuteride neutron initiator.
“He uses various nicknames and apparently owns three passports with different names. He is married and has three children”, Explained Afshin Jam, human rights activist, politician and founding member of Peace and Humanity. Jam escaped from Iran during the beginnings of the Islamic revolution in 1979 and currently resides in Canada. “His family is involved in importing advanced technologies, including varieties of professional, personal and industrial recording cameras for various purposes.”, He added.
His name first appeared on the radar of journalism on July 8, 2008 when added to the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury.
The death coincides with the last days in the White House of US President Donald Trump, who has led a belligerent policy against Iran and with Israel as the main partner in the region, before being replaced in January by the Democrat, Joe Biden.
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