TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned assassination of the country’s nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, vowing retaliation for the criminal act.
“All think-tanks and enemies of Iran should know well that the Iranian nation and officials are too brave and too couragous to leave this criminal act unanswered,” Rouhani said, addressing a meeting of the national coronavirus campaign headquarters in Tehran on Saturday.
“The relevant officials will give a response to their crime in due time, and in addition, the Iranian nation is too wise and too smart to fall into the trap of the Zionists’ plot,” he added.
President Rouhani said that it seems some parties are after stirring chaos but “they should know that we are aware of their plots and they will not succeed in attaining their malicious goals”.
“The Zionist regime and those standing against Iran should know that the path of the country’s development and research will be paved rapidly” and a large number of other Iranian scientists like Fakhrizadeh will emerge to help, he added.
Fakhrizadeh’s car was targeted by an explosion and machinegun fire in Damavand’s Absard 40 kilometers to the East of Tehran on Friday.
The nuclear scientist and one of his companions were immediately taken to a nearby hospital but he could not be saved.
Eyewitness accounts confirmed that Fakhrizadeh’s car came under attack first by a blast and then by terrorists who sprayed bullets at his car.
Early in 2018, the Israeli sources had acknowledged that Mossad had tried to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist, but its operation failed.
According to Fars News Agency, Mossad had gained access to Fakhrizadeh’s name via a UN list which referred to him as a senior scientist of Iran’s Defense Ministry’s Physics Research Center.
After the terrorist attack on Friday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami underlined that assassination of Fakhrizadeh may not undermine Iranians’ resolve, and said revenge for the terror attack is already on the country’s agenda.
General Salami extended condolences to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, martyr Fakhrizadeh’s family, and the Iranian nation over the martyrdom of Head of the Research and Innovation Organization of Iran’s Defense Ministry, Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in an organized and pre-planned terrorist attack by the child-killing Israeli regime.
“The enemies of the Iranian nation, specially the masterminds, perpetrators and supporters of this crime, should also know that such crimes will not undermine the resolve of the Iranians to continue this glorious and power-generating path, and harsh revenge and punishment is on agenda for them,” the IRGC chief commander stressed.
Iranian nuclear scientists have been the target of the western and Israeli spy agencies’ assassination attempts in recent years.
In June 2012, Iran announced that its intelligence forces had identified and arrested all terrorist elements behind the assassination of the country’s nuclear scientists.
“All the elements involved in the assassinations of the country’s nuclear scientists have been identified and arrested,” Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced in a statement.
“A number of countries, whose territories and facilities had been misused by the Mossad-backed terrorist teams, have provided the Iranian officials with relevant information,” the statement added.
“Over the course of the investigations, all other elements behind the assassinations of the Iranian scientists Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, Majid Shahriari and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan as well as Reza Qashqaei (Roshan’s driver) have been apprehended,” the statement read.
“Some of the perpetrators of the assassination of Dr. Fereidoun Abbasi, the current head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, are among those arrested,” the ministry added.
According to the statement, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry had detected some of Mossad’s bases within the territories of one of Iran’s Western neighbors, which provided training and logistical support to the terrorist networks.
In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, terrorists killed a 32-year-old Iranian scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, and his driver on January 11, 2012.
The blast took place on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, who was also assassinated in a terrorist bomb attack in Tehran in January 2010.
The assassination method used in the bombing was similar to the 2010 terrorist bomb attacks against the then university professor, Fereidoun Abbassi Davani – who became the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization – and his colleague Majid Shahriari. While Abbasi Davani survived the attack, Shahriari was martyred.
Another Iranian scientist, Dariush Rezaeinejad, was also assassinated through the same method on 23 July 2011.
In a relevant development in January, 2015, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced that it had thwarted an attempt by the Israeli intelligence forces to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist.
“In the last two years, the Zionist enemy (Israel) was trying hard to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist, but the timely presence of the IRGC security forces thwarted the terrorist operation,” Deputy Chief Liaison Officer of Flight Guards Corps Colonel Ya’qoub Baqeri told FNA in 2015.