Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has claimed that Israel assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a daylight ambush to try and drag the region into war while Donald Trump is still US president.
The comments were made during a press conference in Tehran, where Rouhani was highlighting that Iran’s key priorities are ensuring the security and stability of the region.
Accusing Israel of the scientist’s assassination, Rouhani declared: “Waging instability and war in the final days of the Trump administration was the main aim of the Zionist regime in the assassination.”
The Iranian leader pledged to take revenge for the murder of Fakhrizadeh, but said they will wait until the appropriate time and place, so as not to destabilize the region during the US presidential transition period.
Fakhrizadeh was killed on November 27 when his convoy was attacked 175 kilometers from Tehran, with Iran quickly accusing Israel of conducting a state-sponsored assassination and arresting individuals accused of being involved in the incident. He had worked as the head of Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research and was seen as a key figure in the country’s nuclear program. Israel has so far not released an official comment on the incident.
During the press conference, Rouhani addressed the issue of America’s scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal and expressed a willingness to work with the Biden administration if he takes over from Trump to expand ties with Western nations.
Iran’s president said his nation would not accept any preconditions and that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal is not open for renegotiation, telling the US that the only option is for America to rejoin the original proposal. If the US accepts those terms and lifts the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Iran’s leader was clear that his nation would comply with the original rules placed upon it without delay.