Posted 59 days ago
Iran’s supreme leader has called for retaliation for the assassination of the country’s top nuclear scientist, raising concerns about a new confrontation between Iran and Israel or the United States.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “following up on this crime and certainly punishing those responsible,” in a post on his official website on November 28.
Khamenei also pledged that the work of the scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, would continue.
The same day, Iranian President Hassan Rohani accused Israel of acting as a “mercenary” for the United States in connection with the killing of Iran’s leading nuclear expert.
"Once again, the wicked hands of the global arrogance, with the usurper Zionist regime as the mercenary, were stained with the blood of a son of this nation," Rohani wrote on his official website on November 28.
"The global arrogance" is a term often used by Iranian officials to refer to the United States, while "the usurper Zionist regime" is a reference to Israel.
Turkey condemned the killing of Fakhrizadeh as a "heinous assassination" and called for the perpetrators of the attack to be held accountable. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also urged "all sides to act with common sense and restraint."
The United Nations also urged restraint amid the rising tensions. A UN spokesman said there was a need for the parties "to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region." The spokesman added that the UN condemns "any assassination or extrajudicial killing."
Israel’s N12 news agency quoted Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi as saying he did not know who carried out the killing.
N12 also reported that the government had placed all its embassies around the world on high security alert in the wake of Iran’s statement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in an ambush near Tehran in a brazen attack that threatens to escalate tensions between Iran and the United States and its close ally Israel.
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