John Brennan, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has condemned the murder of an Iranian scientist allegedly linked to Tehran’s Friday nuclear program, calling him “criminal” and “extremely reckless”.
The details of the attack are still meager, but local shops have reported that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed after hiding a truck full of explosives with a pile of wood that was pulled next to the scientist’s sedan and then blown up east of Tehran in Absard.
“It was a crime and extremely reckless,” Brennan wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. “It could lead to deadly retaliation and a new round of regional conflicts.”
Iran’s foreign minister said the attack on Fakhrizadeh had “serious signs” that Israel had participated in the assassination, but did not provide further details – although it is expected to have international consequences.
Fakhrizadeh’s assassination comes less than a year after General Qassem Soleimani was targeted by the U.S. army with a drone strike, killing one of Iran’s supervisors and pushing U.S.-Iran relations to the brink after Iran promised retaliation.
“Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage and resist the urge to respond to alleged perpetrators,” Brennan wrote, urging Iranian officials to address the issue through diplomatic channels as President Joe Biden’s administration does. over the White House.
Trump has not yet commented publicly on the attack, but has retweeted the message from Israeli journalist Yossi Melman that the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist is “a major psychological and professional blow to Iran”.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the death of Fakhruzadeh, who died in hospital, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was an “act of state terror”.
“Terrorists have murdered an excellent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice – along with serious signals of an Israeli role – shows the desperate warming of the perpetrators, ”Zarif said on twitter.
“Iran calls on the community – and the EU in particular – to end their shameful double standard and to condemn this act of state terror.”
Fakhruzadeh allegedly led Iran’s AMAD nuclear program, which was supposed to have ended in 2003, although Israel and other Western nations suspected its resurgence.
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Iran has long maintained its nuclear program, which is strictly for civilian services such as power generation.
Iran and its nuclear power plants are being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, although under Trump’s rule, the United States continues to suspect that Iran has further developed its nuclear capabilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this piece.