By Abbas Dehghanifard

Israel legitimized assassination of government officials by targeting Fakhrizadeh: expert

December 2, 2020 - 22:18

TEHRAN – Amir Mousavi, a former Iranian diplomat and an expert on West Asia, has said that Israel set a precedent for assassinating government officials by targeting prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

In an interview with the Tehran Times, Mousavi said Israel took pride in the assassination of the Iranian scientist and that Iran should give an appropriate response to it.

Fakhrizadeh 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. Iranian officials publicly accused Israel of targeting Fakhrizadeh.

On the other hand, Israel did nothing to deny the charge. Instead, Israeli officials have even implied that Israel was behind the attack on the Iranian scientist. Moreover, several leading American news organizations such as The New York Times and CNN reported that Israel was behind the attack.

“Trump and the Zionists have legitimized the assassination of political and security officials and scientists. Since they took pride in such assassinations, I think Iran should respond in a similar way,” the former diplomat told the Tehran Times.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: As you know, the debate over how to respond to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is ongoing. One of the issues that was raised in this regard is a parliamentary bill dubbed “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions.” Do you think that this response can be a substitute for a military one?

A: The parliamentary bill is effective. I think being hit with missiles is more tolerable to Israel than to have Iran increase uranium enrichment level to 20%. Israel would accept Haifa being hit with missiles but the implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does not stop. Because the guarantees that this protocol provided were really unique for the Zionist regime.

Therefore, The Parliament’s move is very courageous, strong, and crushing. I think the bill if passed and finalized, would come over the Zionists like a lightning strike. But with respect to responding to criminals and Zionist terrorists, I think there should not be any military response. Instead, Iran should act in accordance with the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. In other words, Iran should respond in a similar manner.

Look, Trump and the Zionists have legitimized the assassination of political and security officials and scientists. Since they took pride in such assassinations, I think Iran should respond in a similar way. Because they boasted that they carried out an assassination operation. They assassinate officials from Iran and the Resistance Axis and publicly take pride in that and laugh and congratulate each other.

Now, we have seen a Zionist official announced that the world should thank the Zionist regime [Israel] for assassinating the Iranian scientist. Therefore, Iran should also do a job so that the world thanks it. Iran should take painful revenge against this malign entity. And this revenge cannot be only militarily. There are various ways to surprise the Zionist regime. I am astonished by the patience and tolerance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is really capable of taking reciprocal steps.

Q: Do you think Iran should respond or continue to exercise restraint?

A: I think Iran has the upper hand. The country’s security apparatus has the upper hand against the United States and Israel as well as Arab countries, which probably were involved in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. They are roaming around the world, and that they should not feel secure. They should not be able to commit crimes and get away with it. Iran should put aside moral issues. Because they have embarked on a dangerous policy.

Fakhrizadeh is our country’s fifth scientist that was assassinated in a terrorist attack. He was a precious man and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian nation have lost a treasure. Therefore, this crime should not go unanswered. At the end of the day, Iran has a lot of options to punish the Zionist regime and make it regret killing the Iranian scientist.

I hope the relevant officials take this issue more seriously, otherwise, the enemies will not stop. The Zionists have a list of at least 26 people. They assassinated five people. This means that they are after assassinating the remaining people. Is it the right policy to sit idly by until they assassinate all these people? No, it’s not the right policy. There is a need to do something. Iran should not care about what the world would say.

The world urges restraint. What does it means to exercise restraint? Who must exercise restraint? Zionists and America are going their own way. Therefore, they mean that we should exercise restraint until the list ends and then mourn and weep. No, this is not acceptable. There should be a serious response. While they announce their list, why we should wait.

Q: Does the IAEA have anything to do with the assassination of Fakhrizadeh?

A: On the other hand, we need to forcefully deal with the IAEA because whatever information we gave it, the IAEA passed the information on to the Zionists. Even the address and the whereabouts and of the scientists were passed on to the Zionists. And this means that the IAEA is really spying on Iran.

In my point of view, our country’s security apparatus and other relevant authorities should respond to the IAEA. It doesn’t make sense that we fully cooperate with the IAEA within the framework of the Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) while the IAEA passes the information on to the Zionists. The IAEA conducts one-on-one interviews with our scientists and experts and then gives the information it obtained to the enemies’ intelligence agencies whether it’s American or Zionist. This is unacceptable. I think the Islamic Republic of Iran is paying the price of this vague cooperation. Today, we see that we easily lose such a great scientist as Fakhrizadeh, whom Iran can raise with great difficulty.

Q: What do Iran’s allies expect Iran to do on the issue of the Fakhrizadeh assassination?

A: We hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran gives a crushing response to the perpetrators. The supporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran are really upset now. Our people are also upset. It is obvious on social media platforms that all are unhappy with the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. The friends of the Resistance Axis, Arab and Muslim countries, and free people in Latin America and other places are sending messages that why Iran exercising restraint. They say Iran is going through successive assassination attacks. They say why the Islamic Republic of Iran does not respond. The Islamic Republic of Iran is now under pressure.
Relevant authorities and forces can make these people, the Iranian nation, and the Resistance Axis happy once again. They should not allow the enemies to rejoice at Iran’s misfortune. You know, schadenfreude is bad. The assassination of Fakhrizadeh has created a moment of schadenfreude for the enemies.

The enemies are gloating that Iran can’t respond. Even the Zionists say on social media that if Israel was behind the assassination then why Iran does not strike it. This is very bad. So, there is a need to do something. The Islamic Republic of Iran is very strong and it can do a lot of things. It’s not only missiles. Iran has other options. Iran can also respond by acting like enemies. In fact, Israel has now green-lighted this modus operandi. Therefore, Iran can respond by using indirect ways and make the Zionists and the U.S. regret it. Iran should respond in such a way that inflicts costs on the enemies and makes them understand that assassinating an Iranian scientist or targeting Iran will have costs.  

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