Iran’s defense chief warns of crushing response against any act of terror
Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami has slammed recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh warning that no act of terror will go unanswered.
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“We will pursue the perpetrators till the end and we will follow the order of the Commander-in-Chief (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” Hatami said on Monday during the funeral procession for Martyr Fakhrizadeh, Mehr reported.
“I sincerely thank all the nations and governments that sympathized with Iran for this incident and expressed their disgust with the assassination,” Hatami said.
General Hatami warned the countries that sponsor terrorism that the Islamic Republic has always dealt with terrorists “as we did in the region in Syria and Iraq, along with the governments and nations and the armed forces of those countries.”
“We will do it again,” he said. “We will be proud and dignified, and whoever bows down to the terrorists will surely be ashamed.”
He also said the Islamic Republic will double the budget for its defense projects.
“The first step to continue the path of Martyr Fakhrizadeh was taken yesterday in the cabinet,” Hatami said, adding, “While the budget of the Research and Innovation Organization of the Defense Ministry was increased for 1400 (2020-2021), yesterday we decided to double this budget.”
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”.
In a presentation in April 2018, Netanyahu repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program and called Fakhrizadeh as the captain of Iran’s nuclear program. “Remember that name,” Netanyahu said.
Israel has embraced a strategy of targeted assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists in attempting to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, which Tel Aviv claims is intended to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran has strongly rejected the accusation. It also signed a nuclear agreement with six world powers to ensure the world of the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.
However, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, and imposed the harshest sanctions in history against Iran in line with his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Iran has also signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology — in July 1968 and ratified it in February 1970.
Currently, Iran’s nuclear activities are subject to the most intensive inspections in the history of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA).