BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office refused to comment on the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in the capital, Tehran, on Friday.
An official in Netanyahu’s office said in a statement to Reuters that the office “refrains from commenting” on the matter.
Netanyahu had announced two years ago that the scientist who was assassinated today is leading the Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal.
In a recorded speech, Netanyahu said in 2018 that the Israeli intelligence had seized a wide range of documents related to Tehran’s efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal, and described Fakhrizadeh as leading Tehran’s military nuclear program.
Netanyahu said at the time: “Remember this name – Fakhrizadeh.”
In 2014, in an interview with Reuters, a Western diplomat referred to the role of this scientist in Tehran’s nuclear program, saying: “If Iran decides to militarize (enrichment operations), Fakhrizadeh will be known as the father of the nuclear bomb.”
In the same report, Reuters quoted a high-ranking Iranian source as confirming that Fakhrizadeh possesses three passports and carries out many foreign trips, especially to Asian countries, in order to obtain “the latest information from abroad,” adding that this scientist is committed to Iran’s technological development and enjoys support from the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.