Iran president: Israel killed Fakhrizadeh to ‘wage instability and war

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says Israel was behind the killing of a scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the 2000s in an effort to ignite regional violence in the last days of President Trump’s administration.

Rouhani’s comments in a news conference mark the first time he has directly accused the Jewish state of carrying out the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh late last month.

A photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 (Fars News Agency via AP); insert: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in an undated photo (Courtesy)

Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has repeatedly declined to comment on the attack.

“Waging instability and war in the final days of the Trump administration was the main aim of the Zionist regime in the assassination,” Rouhani says.

Rouhani vows to avenge the killing but says his country will not allow Israel to decide the “time or venue“ of any retaliatory action. He says Iran will not allow instability in the region.

— AP