Switzerland condemns assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist

November 30, 2020 - 23:18

TEHRAN – Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has denounced the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as an “act of violence,” calling on all parties to avoid further acts of violence.

“First of all, I would like to condemn any act of violence including the assassination [of Fakhrizadeh], and we call upon all parties to refrain from any further act of violence,” the chief Swiss diplomat told the Israeli channel Kan news.

Cassis also called for a de-escalation of tensions in the region and expressed readiness to provide help in this regard.

“Every effort to deescalate the violence in this situation should be supported and we stand ready to help supporting these acts,” the Swiss foreign minister said.

On Friday at 14:30, nearly 10 people attacked the convoy of Fakhrizadeh on a highway in the small city of Absard in Damavand County, about 40 kilometers northeast of the capital Tehran. The scientist lost his life during the attack while his bodyguards were severely injured. Iranian officials were quick to point the finger at Israel, which has carried out many assassination operations against Iranian nuclear scientists over the past decade. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on Friday that the attack was carried out with “serious indications of Israeli role”.

Iranian officials also vowed to take revenge against Israel while underlining that they will not fall in the trap of Israel.

“All think tanks and all enemies of Iran should know well that the Iranian nation and the country’s authorities are more courageous and Zealous than to let this criminal act go unanswered. The relevant authorities will respond to this crime at the proper time,” Rouhani was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying on Saturday morning.

But Rouhani also said that Iran will not fall in the “trap” of the enemies.

“The Iranian nation is wiser and smarter than to fall in the trap of the Zionists (Israel). They are after chaos and sedition. They should understand that we know their plans and they will not achieve their ominous goals,” the Iranian president said.

---------Oman, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, UAE, China condemn Fakhrizadeh assassination

Swiss foreign minister was not the only foreign official who condemned the assassination Fakhrizadeh. Officials from other countries also denounced the terrorist attack on the Iranian scientist. Zarif received several phone calls from his counterparts in the region, including the foreign ministers of Oman, Azerbaijan, and Iraq.

Turkey, Jordan, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates also issued statements condemning the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that “emanating from its deep conviction on the need to pursue all means for stability in the region, it condemns the heinous assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which could further fuel conflict in the region,”  according to Emirati state news agency WAM. “Given the current situation in the region, the UAE calls upon all parties to exercise maximum degrees of self-restraint to avoid dragging the region into new levels of instability and threat to peace,” the statement added.

The European Union called the assassination of the Iranian scientist “a criminal act” that goes against human rights.

“On 27 November 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and, according to reports, 1 of his bodyguards, were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for,” the spokesperson for High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a statement on Saturday.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry denounced the “heinous murder” of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. “We are saddened by the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as a result of an armed attack on 27 November in Tehran. We condemn this heinous murder and extend our condolences to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the family of the deceased,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “Turkey is against all attempts aiming at undermining peace and tranquility in the region as well as terrorism in all its forms regardless of its perpetrator or target.”

China and Russia also condemned the attack on the Iranian scientist. Chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky described the attack as “terrorist.”

“The murder of Iranian physicist Fakhrizadeh is a terrorist attack aimed at new provocation against Tehran. It’s important to prevent the escalation of tensions in the region,” the Russian lawmaker said in a tweet.

“Russia condemns this killing, no matter who carried it out, and expresses deep condolences to Iran and Fakhrizadeh’s relatives,” Slutsky added.

Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, condemned on Monday the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, saying the assassination of the prominent Iranian nuclear scientist shocked China.

Jordan also condemned the assassination, calling for collective efforts to avoid an escalation in tensions in the region.

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