Iran to give a ‘calculated’ response to nuclear scientist killing, says official

– November 29, 2020
Servants of the holy shrine of Imam Reza carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in Mashhad, Iran on November 29, 2020. — Reuters
Servants of the holy shrine of Imam Reza carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in Mashhad, Iran on November 29, 2020. — Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has declined to comment on the killing. An Israeli cabinet minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, said on Saturday he did not know who carried it out.

Iranian hardline media called on Sunday for tough revenge.

The hardline Kayhan daily, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for an attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa, if an Israeli role in Fakhrizadeh’s killing is proven.

“The attack should be carried out in such a way that in addition to destroying the facilities, it should also cause heavy human casualties,” wrote Saadollah Zarei in an opinion piece.

However, Iran’s rulers are aware of daunting military and political difficulties of attacking Israel. Such an attack would also complicate any effort by United States President-elect Joe Biden to revive detente with Tehran after he takes office on January 20.

Tensions have been high between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when President Donald Trump exited Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers and reimposed sanctions that have hit Iran’s economy hard. In retaliation, Tehran has gradually breached the deal’s curbs on its nuclear programme.

Biden has said he will return the US to the deal if Iran resumes compliance. Iran has always denied pursuing nuclear weapons.

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