The people behind the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh “have been identified for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and they will definitely receive a decisive response,” Hossein Amir Abdullahian, special aide on international affairs to the speaker of Iran’s Parliament, said in an interview published by state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). He didn’t identify the suspects or say how many have been arrested, adding that most details will be withheld until the investigation is completed.
Fakhrizadeh was traveling to Absard, east of Tehran, on November 27 when his convoy of bullet-proof vehicles was ambushed. Iran’s government has blamed Israel for the incident, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that satellite-controlled hardware was used in the attack. An earlier report out of Tehran indicated that Fakhrizadeh was killed with a remotely-operated machine gun.
Evidence shows that “Zionists” were involved in planning and perpetrating the assassination, Abdullahian said, but they could not have done it without the cooperation of intelligence services from the US or elsewhere.
Anonymous Trump administration officials have told CNN and the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack. They declined to say whether US officials had any advance knowledge of the ambush.
Iran’s government is considering “multi-layered measures” to take revenge for the assassination, Abdullahian said in Tuesday’s interview.
Israel previously claimed that Fakhrizadeh headed Iran’s nuclear weapons development project. Iranian officials have repeatedly insisted that the country is developing nuclear energy technology for peaceful purposes, not nuclear weapons. At least four other Iranian scientists have been assassinated in the past decade.
Abdullahian expressed pessimism about improving relations with Washington if and when Joe Biden takes office as president. He said the Democrat has spoken of allying with European countries in pursuing confrontational policies with Iran, Russia and China.
“For us, the criterion is not the turbulent professions of the Americans,” Abdullahian told ISNA. “The criterion for us is how America will behave. Biden and the Democrats must say whether their strategy is to continue hostility to Iran or to establish friendship and cooperation.”
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