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An opinion piece published Sunday by a hard line Iranian The newspaper urged Iran to attack the Israeli port city of Haifa if Israel carries out the assassination of the scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the early 2000s.

Although the hard line Kayhan The newspaper has long advocated for aggressive retaliation for operations against Iran, Sunday’s op-ed went further, suggesting that any assault be carried out in a way that destroys facilities and “also causes many human casualties. “.

Israel, suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the past decade, has not commented the shameless assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. A military-style ambush on Friday outside Tehran allegedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen opened fire on the scientist, killing him and a bodyguard.
Scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated November 27, 2020 / Mohsen Fakhrizadeh sits in a meeting January 23, 2019
The scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was reported to have been assassinated on November 27, 2020 / Mohsen Fakhrizadeh sits in a meeting on January 23, 2019 (AP)
This photo released by the semi-official Fars news agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Absard, a small town east of the capital Tehran, Iran, on Friday, November 27, 2020.
This photo released by the semi-official Fars news agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Absard, a small town east of the capital Tehran, Iran, on Friday, November 27, 2020. (AP)
US intelligence agencies and UN nuclear inspectors They said the organized military nuclear program that Fakhrizadeh oversaw was disbanded in 2003, but Israeli suspicion of Tehran’s atomic program and its involvement has never ceased.

Kayhan published the article written by Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei, who argued that Iran’s previous responses to alleged Israeli airstrikes that killed the Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria did not go far enough to deter Israel. He said an assault on Haifa also had to be larger than Iran’s ballistic missile attack on US troops in Iraq following the US drone strike in Baghdad that killed a senior Iranian general in January.

Surprising the israeli city of haifa and killing large numbers of people “will definitely lead to deterrence, because the United States and the Israeli regime and its agents are in no way ready to engage in a war and a military confrontation,” Zarei wrote.

While Kayhan is a newspaper with a small circulation in Iran, its editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari was appointed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and has been described as an adviser to him in the past.

Funeral of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
In this image released by the Iranian Defense Ministry and taken on November 28, 2020, people pray over the flag-draped coffin of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist linked to the country’s dissolved military nuclear program, who was killed on Friday. during a funeral ceremony. at the holy shrine of Imam Reza in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Iran. (AP)

Haifa, in the Mediterranean Sea, has been threatened in the past by both Iran and one of its proxies, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Such an attack would likely provoke immediate Israeli retaliation and spark a broader conflict across the Middle East. While Iran has never directly attacked an Israeli city militarily, it has carried out attacks against Israeli interests abroad in the past for the murder of its scientists, as in the case of the three Iranians recently freed in Thailand in exchange for detainees. British-Australian scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

Israel is also widely believed to have its own nuclear weapons, an arsenal that it neither confirms nor denies possessing.

Iran’s parliament held a closed-door hearing on Fakhrizadeh’s assassination on Sunday. Subsequently, the speaker of parliament, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, said that Iran’s enemies must be made to regret killing him.

“The criminal enemy has no regrets except with a strong reaction,” he said in a broadcast on Iranian state radio.

A public session of legislators saw them shouting: “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”

Funeral of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
In this image released by the Iranian Ministry of Defense and taken on November 28, 2020, caretakers of the Imam Reza holy shrine carry the flag-draped coffin of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist linked to the country’s dissolved military nuclear program. who was assassinated on Friday, during a funeral ceremony in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Iran. (AP)

They also began reviewing a bill that would halt inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The nuclear watchdog has provided an unprecedented, real-time look at Iran’s civilian nuclear program following the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The deal has been undone after Donald trump unilateral withdrawal of the US in 2018 from the agreement. Since then, Iran’s civil atomic program has continued its experiments and is now enriching a growing reserve of uranium to 4.5% purity.

That’s still well below the 90 percent weapons grade levels, though experts warn that Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least two atomic bombs if it decides to pursue them. The bill would reportedly also require Iran’s civil atomic program to produce at least 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium, a small technical step at 90 percent.

Iran’s 290-seat parliament is dominated by hardliners who would likely support the bill. Ultimately, it would have to be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council. Khamenei also has the last word on all matters of state.

Khamenei has called Fakhrizadeh “the country’s prominent and distinguished nuclear and defense scientist” and demanded the “ultimate punishment” of those behind the killing, without elaborating.

Fakhrizadeh spearheaded Iran’s so-called AMAD program, which Israel and the West have alleged was a military operation seeking the viability of building a nuclear weapon. The IAEA says the “structured program” ended in 2003. US intelligence agencies agreed with that assessment in a 2007 report.

Israel maintains that Iran still intends to develop a nuclear weapon. He argues that Iran’s ballistic missile program and other research could help build a bomb if it pursued one, especially when provisions of the 2015 nuclear deal expire. Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it has no plans. to build an atomic bomb.

Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief who now serves as director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, alleged that Fakhrizadeh directed “all covert activities involving the program’s weaponry.”

The damage of his death “cannot be measured as no one knows exactly the scope and depth of what the Iranians are doing covertly,” Yadlin said. “But there is no doubt that he was the main source of authority, knowledge and organization for this program.”

Fakhrizadeh’s assassination likely complicates the plans of President-elect Joe Biden, who has said his administration will consider re-entering Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. The risk of open conflict in recent weeks in President Donald Trump’s office also increases, as any retaliation could spark a US military response, Yadlin said.

“I strongly advise officials to keep their mouths shut and not leak anything. They’ve already talked too much,” he said, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cryptic comments to his supporters that he couldn’t discuss everything he did. last week.

“Any other evidence that helps the Iranians decide on retaliation against Israel is a mistake,” Yadlin said.

– Reported with Associated Press


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