Iran's Minister of Defense has revealed that there is "serious evidence" allegedly pointing to the “direct involvement” of Israel in the November 2020 assassination of leading Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iranian media outlets have reported.
Brigadier-General Amir Hatami addressed a letter to fellow defence ministers in more than 60 countries on Wednesday, highlighting that Dr Fakhrizadeh, Deputy Minister of Defense and Head of the Research and Innovation Organization of the Ministry of Defense of Iran, had been yet another victim in the 'targeted killings' of Iranian scientists ostensibly by Israel’s espionage services.
As he praised the major scientific achievements and research projects conducted by Fakhrizadeh, Hatami was cited as urging the need for setting aside double standards in the international approach towards state terrorism.
The defense minister also warned that Iran reserves the right to retaliate to the assassination, as he deplored the ‘muted’ global response to “this inhuman, illegitimate and criminal act”.
He voiced the opinion that further silence regarding the assassination would only serve to fuel global insecurity.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in a multi-pronged terrorist attack in a small city east of Tehran on 27 November 2020.
Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice — with serious indications of Israeli involvement — shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 27, 2020
Iran calls on int'l community — and especially EU — to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.
The Islamic Republic was swift to blame Israel for the assassination, claiming it was in Tel Aviv's interests to eliminate the Iranian nuclear scientist who was believed to be playing a crucial role in building the country's atomic reactors.
Tel Aviv has neither confirmed nor denied the accusations.
Meanwhile, Tehran vowed that "definitive punishment" would reach offenders "at the right time".
In a message shortly after the incident, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called to “investigate this crime and firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders”.
Fakhrizadeh was the only Iranian scientist whose name was openly mentioned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a 2018 televised presentation.
Netanyahu had claimed at the time that Israel had came across confidential documents that showed that Fakhrizadeh was secretly continuing work on Iran’s ‘covert’ nuclear programme, adding “remember that name.”
Iran’s government has repeatedly insisted that the project was shut down in 2003 and all nuclear research and activity is for peaceful purposes.