Iranian diplomat blasts American newspaper for ‘shameful’ editorial on Iran

December 1, 2020 - 16:14

TEHRAN - In a letter to The Wall Street Journal, Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, strongly criticized the American newspaper for running an editorial expressing support for the assassination of distinguished nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

“Your editorial ‘Biden, Iran and the Bomb’ (Nov. 27) is shameful in its inhumanity,” wrote Miryousefi.

The spokesman’s letter came in response to a November 27 WSJ editorial that described the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as “deeply flawed” and “bad.” The American newspaper even sought to use the alleged threat of Iran’s nuclear program to justify the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizdeh.

“The apparent assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist near Tehran on Friday shows that Iran’s nuclear program remains a global security problem. No one took responsibility, but any number of countries have reason to act now in case the Biden Administration returns to a policy of appeasing Iran,” the newspaper said, suggesting that the Biden administration should not return to the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Praising the Trump administration’s Iran policy, The Wall Street Journal said, “To abandon sanctions again in return for more Iranian promises would be diplomatic and strategic malpractice. At the minimum, the Biden team can use the sanctions as leverage to close the loopholes in the 2015 accord.  That should include no sunset, unlimited inspections of suspect sites, limits on ballistic missiles, and restraints on Iran’s regional imperialism. If Iran refuses, then we’ll know its goal continues to be regional domination rather than to become a normal country.”

The newspaper accused Biden advisors such as Jake Sullivan of having emotional attachment for the Iran nuclear deal, adding that “Mr. Biden’s foreign policy team should be thankful for the stronger hand Mr. Trump is leaving them.”

The editorial prompted Miryousefi to hit back at The Wall Street Journal in a letter to the newspaper. The Iranian diplomat called the newspaper’s support for the assassination “unjustifiable,” adding that this support will only encourage the perpetrators to commit more crimes which will have dangerous implications.

“The unjustifiable support for a brutal assassination of a prominent scientist does nothing more than encourage a few criminals, such as the Israeli regime and its allies, to commit more assassinations. The assassination of an official of a UN member state in its territory is a dangerous game, opening a Pandora’s box; one whose consequences only reckless, apocalyptic people would ignore,” Miryousefi said, adding, “Undoubtedly, the Israeli regime’s involvement in this criminal act is designed to further disrupt the turbulent situation in the region and destroy the path for diplomacy.”

The spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN also called Fakhrizadeh a “national hero” whose health services to Iran helped the country better combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Miryousefi stated, “Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was an eminent scientist and national hero for all Iranians. His last service to the country was the production of a coronavirus diagnostic kit, as well as the management of a project to produce an Iranian Covid vaccine—one that had reached the human-testing stage.”

The spokesman said the assassination of Fakhrizadeh will by no means affect Iran’s nuclear program.

“Assassinating him will do nothing to Iran’s completely peaceful nuclear program, as the assassinations of our nuclear scientists in the past few years have not affected the advancement in our peaceful nuclear activities,” Miryousefi pointed out.

The Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in an attack that was widely attributed to Israel. The attack took place on Friday at 14:30 in the small city of Absard in Damavand County, about 40 kilometers northeast of the capital Tehran. 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. They vowed to take revenge against it in due time. While Israeli officials kept silent about the assassination, President Hassan Rouhani said Tel Aviv was behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

“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, a day after the assassination.

But Rouhani said Iran will not fall into the trap of Israel.

The Iranian president noted, “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.”

Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday passed the generalities of a plan aimed at lifting the United States sanctions on Iran. The enactment of the plan came partly in response to the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

The plan will require the government to significantly step up nuclear activities such as increasing uranium enrichment level to 20% and installing more advanced centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear site as well as reviving the core of Arak’s heavy water reactor. These steps will not be taken all at once. Instead, these measures will be adopted in a gradual process that will take months.

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said on Sunday that the lawmakers have discussed the plan and that it will be finalized this week.

“This plan will strengthen the industry and the practical achievements of nuclear scientists and pave the way for Iran to overcome sanctions. This law, along with the reactions of other relevant agencies, in addition to reviving Iran's nuclear industry, creates deterrence against the enemy and security for the people,” Ghalibaf said.

During the Tuesday session of the Iranian Parliament 251 lawmakers voted in favor of the plan, which is dubbed “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions.”

Abolfazl Amouei, the spokesman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy, said on Tuesday that the plan is designed to impose costs on the enemies who imposed sanctions on Iran and assassinated its scientists.

“We must proceed in such a way that destroying people’s security and assassinating our country’s scientists and imposing cruel sanctions against our country would not be cost-free for the enemies,” the lawmaker asserted.

SM/PA

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