Israel said to be certain that Iran will respond to nuclear scientist’s killing

The former head of Iran’s atomic energy organization denies the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is a sign of weakness.

“This terrorism doesn’t indicate weakness in our security apparatus, but rather points to its strength. This kind of thing (assassination) hasn’t happened for a long time,” Fereydoon Abbasi Davani says in a video aired by Channel 12 news.

Abbasi Davani, who was allegedly a top scientist on the nuclear weapons program run by Fakhrizadeh, survived an assassination attempt in 2010. He is now a member of Iran’s parliament.

Separately, Channel 12 says Israel “knows that Iran will respond” to the killing , without citing a source. Iran has blamed the assassination on Israel.

The network’s analyst Ehud Yaari posits that Iran has two options for retaliating. The first would involve ramping up its nuclear weapons program; enriching uranium to 20 percent; ditching parts of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); and to again turn on its heavy water reactor.

Alternatively, or in addition, Yaari speculates that Iran could launch a major attack on an Israeli target, similar to its 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities, and won’t content itself with a more “minor” attack on an embassy or target of similar importance.

Amos Yadlin, a former IDF Military Intelligence chief who now heads the INSS think tank, tells the station that “whoever made this decision knows that there are 55 more days in which the White House has someone who sees the Iranian threat the way they do… Biden is a different story.”

“Apparently, Pompeo didn’t come here to drink wine at the Psagot winery,” he adds, referring to the US secretary of state’s recent visit to Israel.