Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahavadi, was killed on Friday near Tehran, Iran’s Defense Ministry announced on state television.
State media said the killing appeared to be an assassination.
Iran foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on on Twitter that this attack had “serious indications of Israeli role” and urged the international community to “condemn this act of state terror.”
Fakhrizadeh was the leader of Iran’s military nuclear program.
James Carafano, leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, told SaraACarter.com that he is unsure of the future with Iran under a Biden administration.
“The Israelis don’t know really what to expect from a Biden team. Regional developments are on their best trajectory ever with Iran hamstrung by sanctions, Arab nations normalizing with Israel and radical Islamists under pressure across the region,” said Carafano. “The smart play for the U.S. would be to continue to advance policies in that direction. There is a real question over whether Biden team would do that.”
In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that the Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, had obtained 100,000 files from Iran’s secret nuclear archives and showed a photograph of Fakhrizadeh.
“This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad … Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” Netanyahu said.
The files retrieved by Mossad focused on the secret Iranian nuclear program that was developed from 1999 to 2003 called Project Amad, which was led by Fakhrizadeh. When Iran entered the 2015 nuclear deal, it denied the program existed.
After taking office, Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, winning praise from Netanyahu but impairing relations between the U.S. and Iran.
President-elect Joe Biden has said he would attempt to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal–provided Iran were to return to its commitments as well.
During the campaign, Biden talked about rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.
Carafano said that Biden’s plans are “a lot more complicated that it sounds.”
“The right answer is to continue maximum pressure until Iran agrees to a better deal. Israel, can’t count on the U.S. doing that,” he said. “So they would to make sure Iranian interest and capabilities were weakened as much as possible.”
He added, “There is no question that with the prospects of a Biden presidency, the Israelis would want to do everything possible to be in the strongest position.”
You can follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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