The man who is regarded as the father of Iran’s “secret” military nuclear program was assassinated in the Tehran suburb of Damavand late Friday, Tehran time.
The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was gravely wounded during a “clash” between his security detail and unidentified “armed terrorists” in the city of Damavand, the semiofficial ISNA news agency said. Fakhrizadeh later died at the hospital, the agency said.
“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, wrote on Twitter.
There was no claim of responsibility for the apparent targeted killing, but Iran has accused Israel and the United States of carrying out similar deadly attacks on nuclear experts in Iran in the past.
“This cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli role — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Zarif tweeted. “Iran calls on int’l community — and especially E.U. — to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”
Here are some of the just-released images from the scene:
Iran State media footage of the scene where they claim the most crucial figure in Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated. Iran Atomic agency still hasn’t confirmed #Fakhrizadeh pic.twitter.com/mQ0zwT836l
— President Elect Potkin Azarmehr (@potkazar) November 27, 2020
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) November 27, 2020
From what we can see, it appears that the M.O. is one that is pretty well developed over the years. A hit team on a motorcycle attached a limpet-style bomb to one car, probably the one carrying Fakhrizadeh, and lit up his security detail as they drove by. The blood trail outside the shot-up car hints that the security detail did not fare all that well. Nothing in the images gives any hint of a “clash” between a security detail and the assassination team unless “clash” is the Iranian technique of getting caught off-guard and having your ass handed to you.
In terms of technique, it is very similar to that used in August in the alleged killing of al-Qaeda second-in-command Abu Muhammad al-Masri. I say “alleged” because it has never been confirmed, and the only sources are a handful of Alexander Vindman types vicariously living out their own failed, piss-ant lives by leaking secrets to the New York Times.
Al Qaeda’s second-highest leader, accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran three months ago, intelligence officials have confirmed.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by two assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy attacks. He was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden.
It is always difficult to read these things. Is it just another hit on an Iranian nuclear scientist, like these?
Factbox: Attacks on scientists in Iran https://t.co/b5tJVQ5lhi
— Reuters Iran (@ReutersIran) November 27, 2020
Was he targeted for special attention? As the Jerusalem Post points out, he was called out by name in the briefing to the world by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Israel spirited thousands of pounds of documents and media out of a secured Tehran warehouse.
Or is this correct?
“In the last days of the political life of their … ally (U.S. President Donald Trump), the Zionists (Israel) seek to intensify pressure on Iran and create a full-blown war,” commander Hossein Dehghan tweeted. https://t.co/9NBNWJsQuW
— Parisa Hafezi (@PHREUTERS) November 27, 2020
Does Israel see the probability that it’s freedom of action will be limited if a change in administration brings back into power the terrorist-friendly retreads from the Obama regime? If the latter is the case, we can expect to see a real settling of accounts in the next month and a half.