Slain Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (File Photo, Image credit: Flipboard)

Iranian chief nuclear scientist killed five days after Netanyahu’s trip to Saudi Arabia

Just five days after the secret trip of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to Saudi Arabia the head of Research and Innovation Department of the Iranian defence ministry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in a shootout outside Tehran. Reports suggest that three to four assailants were also killed when his security guards fired back in retaliation.

Iranian foreign minister Md. Javad Zarif blamed Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad for the terrorist act.

As the attack took place less than two months before President Donald Trump is going to leave office, Iranian authorities charged the United States too for being behind the attack. President Trump, it needs to be recalled, had immediately after coming to power cancelled the nuclear deal with Iran which was signed during the Obama Administration. The Iranian establishment is thinking so as there was apprehension in some quarters that, before demitting office, the Trump Administration will order a covert attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. As that decision failed to materialize a leading scientist might have been chosen as the target. It needs to be mentioned that between 2010 and 2012 four Iranian scientists were killed in a similar kind of an attack.

Israel, however didn’t chose to comment on the attack, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had once, in a reference to Fakhrizadeh in a news conference, said: Remember that name.

In a letter to the United Nations, the Iranian government said there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the ambush. It also added that it reserves the right to retaliate and defend itself.

Iran’s envoy to the United Nations  Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in the letter to the world body: “Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests.”

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