Iran Nuclear Scientist Assassinated

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Source: Iranian Defense Ministry/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Michael Ge

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh was assassinated on November 27th.  Fakrizadeh was a key figure in the Iranian nuclear program and worked developing COVID-19 testing kits in Iran.  Fakrizadeh’s involvement in Iran’s nuclear program led to him having his assets frozen by both the United States and the United Nations Security Council.

On November 27th, Fakrizadeh and the convoy he was traveling in was ambushed.  Fakrizadeh was killed in the ambush.  Initial reports have stated that the ambush was carried out by a truck bomb and multiple gunmen.  Iranian media sources have since stated that Fakrizadeh was killed by a satellite-controlled machine gun.  Iranian intelligence services were allegedly tipped off about the assassination plot, but the warnings were ignored.

Iran has accused Israel of orchestrating the killing of Fakrizadeh.  Israel has seen Iran and its nuclear program as one of the biggest threats to its existence.  Iran and Israel have frequently come into conflict since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.  Israel is also the enemy of the group Hezbollah which is supported by Iran and viewed by many as a terrorist organization.

The killing of Fakrizadeh represents a further increase in tensions between Iran and the West since the killing of Qasem Soleimani by the United States in January.  Iran has called for retaliation for the killing of Fakrizadeh as tensions are already at an all time high.  As of the time of writing, no group or nation has claimed responsibility for the killing of Fakrizadeh. 

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