In an exclusive interview with the Global Times on the 2nd, Iran’s ambassador to China, Mohamed Keshawarzzad said that the preliminary evidence obtained by Iran may indicate that there will be a “long list” of assassinations similar to that of nuclear scientist Fakrizad in the future. The event happened in “sensitive areas”. Iran will take all necessary measures to protect its people and its own interests “from any risky measures that the United States and Israel may take, especially during the remainder of the current U.S. government”. He also said that Iran would not engage with Biden’s team until the United States returned to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Issue.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency on November 27, the 59-year-old head of the research and innovation agency of the Iranian Ministry of Defense and chief nuclear scientist Muhsin Fakrizad was assassinated in a town near Tehran. Subsequently, the Iranian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying that Fakrizade’s car was attacked by suicide bombings by unknown terrorists and shot at them. Fakrizade died after being sent to the hospital.
At present, no organization or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Iranian public opinion generally believes that Israel is behind the incident. Iranian President Rouhani said in a video cabinet meeting on November 28 that the Iranian people will not fall into Israel’s trap and that “Iran will certainly respond to the martyrdom of our scientists in due course”. The Iranian state-run global satellite TV channel in the language accused the Israeli intelligence secret service “Mosad” of murdering the scientist.
What kind of “retaliatory” measures will Iran take in response to Fakrizad’s death? On the 2nd, Iran’s ambassador to China, Kshawarzzad, told the Global Times that Iran would find the murderer and agent of Fakrizad and “punish him through international law”. In addition, a bill passed by Iran’s Islamic Parliament on November 29 to increase uranium enrichment to 20% or more is also one of Iran’s response measures.
The Iranian diplomat in China said that Iran is seeking a joint voice from the international community and coordinate the joint response of other countries in the region in response to more targeted assassinations in the future. Iran will defend against these “organized terrorist acts” within the framework of legitimate defense.
Some media analysis believes that Fakrizad’s death may further worsen Iran’s relations with Israel and the United States. The New York Times commented that the assassination would further undermine the Iran nuclear agreement and squeeze the space for the new U.S. government to have future diplomatic contacts with Iran.
In response, Kshawarzzad told the Global Times that Iran hopes that the next U.S. government will clearly condemn Trump’s policies towards Iran over the past four years and make up for the anti-humane measures imposed by the Trump administration against Iran.” The next U.S. government must take significant steps to make up for past mistakes and things that have damaged the image of the United States… If the future U.S. government has such a will, I think it will help solve the problem.”
“Iran and the United States can decide and announce that returning to the state of January 20, 2017 (before Trump took office), which will solve many problems well.” He added that then can the two countries continue to make more progress on other different issues.
“Therefore, Iran will not engage with the Biden team until the United States returns to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Issue,” said Kshawarzzad. What matters is practical measures (that the United States has taken), not words, analysis or speculation.”