Iranian nuclear program director shot dead near Tehran

Another Iranian nuclear scientist falls into an attack. This time it is also the one who was considered the director of the nuclear program. Mohsen Fajrizadé was killed this Friday in the outskirts of the capital, Tehran, according to local media.

Fajrizadé has been the victim of an attack perpetrated in the town of Absard, located in the province of Tehran. Few details are known of what happened but apparently explosions have been registered and his bodyguards have fought with the commando responsible for the attack.

The scientist has been the target of the attack while driving in a vehicle, according to information collected by the Iranian news agency FARS, which assures that the three attackers who formed the command would have died in the shooting that took place.

Fajrizadé was a professor of physics and an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In 2018, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed him directly as the director of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“Remember that name, Fajrizadé,” Netanyahu said during the presentation of a series of documents that, according to the Israeli prime minister, had been obtained during an operation at a facility in Tehran. The Iranian government flatly denied it.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Iranian authorities have always accused the Israeli secret services of being behind the numerous murders of scientists in their country, mostly related to the nuclear program.

Imminent execution

It so happens that Fajrizadé’s death comes on the eve of the execution in Iran of academic Ahmadreza Djalali, convicted three years ago for alleged espionage and for providing information about Iranian nuclear scientists to the Mossad.

The Prosecutor’s Office considers that Djalali provided the Mossad with information on 30 nuclear and military scientists, including Masud Ali Mohamadi, who died in 2010 by the explosion of a bomb attached to his motorcycle next to his home in Tehran. Authorities also link him to the murder of engineer Mayid Shahriari, who was killed in another bomb attack that same year.

The scientist and suspected spy, based in Sweden, was arrested during a trip to Iran in April 2016 and worked until his arrest as a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Sweden, which has asked Tehran to stay his execution, granted him citizenship in 2018, although the Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship.

The reaction of the Ayatollah government has been through the Foreign Minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif, who has stated through his Twitter account that a group of “terrorists have assassinated an eminent Iranian scientist”, but has avoided directly mentioning the name of Fajrizadé.

“This cowardice, with serious indications about the role of Israel, shows the desperate warmongering of those responsible”, added the minister: “Iran calls on the international community, and especially the European Union (EU), to put an end to its shameful double standards and condemn this act of State terrorism.

Also on Twitter, Hosein Dehqan, advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been more forceful in stating that his country “will strike like lightning against the murderers of the martyr Mohsen Fajrizadé.”

“They will regret what they have done,” Dehqan threatened, in a message directly addressed to Israel and the US: “The Zionists, in the last days of their risky ally, are making every effort to provoke a full-scale war by putting pressure on Iran”.

In recent days, international media have reported on possible plans by Washington to carry out an attack in Iran. Trump himself recently asked his National Security advisers about the possibility of an airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities, as reported by ‘The New York Times’.

“Inglorious defeat”

This past Thursday, the president of Iran, Hasan Rohani, described the result of the sanctions campaign launched against his country against the country as an “ignominious defeat” by the United States since Washington abandoned the nuclear agreement in 2018 and predicted that its promoter, the Administration of Donald Trump, “will be thrown into the dustbin of History.”

“All their era of intimidation has come to an end and they will be thrown on the ballot of history in a couple of weeks,” proclaimed Rohani as he celebrated Trump’s defeat in the November 3 presidential election against Joe Biden, who will assume office. office of US president on January 20, 2021.

The leader of the Ayatollah regime said “during these three years, they faced the Iranian nation with all their might and suffered an ignominious defeat.”