Nov 28, 2020 - World

Iran's supreme leader vows revenge for assassination of nuclear scientist

Picture of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei speaking into a microphone

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Photo: Iranian Leader Press Office/Getty Images

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pledged to retaliate one day after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the nation's top nuclear scientist.

What he's saying: Khamenei wrote on Twitter Saturday to call on "relevant administrators" to prosecute the "brutal mercenaries" behind the attack and continue the "scientific efforts" of Fakhrizadeh, who Khamenei referred to as a "martyr."

  • He noted that Iran's first priority was the "definitive punishment of the perpetrators and those who ordered it," but did not elaborate, per AP.

Israel didn’t take responsibility for the assassination, but the New York Times reported it was Israeli agents who killed Fakhrizade, citing intelligence officials. Iran blamed Israel for the assassination and threatened revenge

  • "Our people are wiser than to fall in the trap of the Zionist regime (Israel) ... Iran will surely respond to the martyrdom of our scientist at the proper time," said President Hassan Rouhani in a cabinet meeting on Saturday, according to NBC News.
  • “We will respond to the assassination of Martyr Fakhrizadeh in a proper time,” Rouhani said, per AP. “The Iranian nation is smarter than falling into the trap of the Zionists. They are thinking to create chaos.”

Go deeper: Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

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