As Iran was burying slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Monday, leaders threatened revenge and said they have proof that Israel was behind the killing.
“The enemy knows full well that he cannot commit a crime without getting a response from the Iranian people. The martyr’s blood will be remembered forever and the enemy made a mistake with this assassination,” Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami said. “For the continuation of your path, we will continue with more speed and more power.”
While varying versions were coming out of Iran on exactly how the attack on Fakhrizadeh unfolded, some saying there were no operatives and it was remote controlled while others said there were multiple agents on the ground, Iran’s English-language Press TV claimed that the weapon used in his killing was made in Israel.
“The weapon collected from the site of the terrorist act bears the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry,” a source told Press TV.
The source did not produce a photo of the weapon.
Iran was also supposedly distributing photos of four men it claimed were suspects in the killing, according to a London-based Iranian journalist. The report said that these pictures were being distributed at hotels across the country so that people could turn them in if they saw them.
Israel has still made no comment on the attack.
Fakhrizadeh was believed by Israeli and Western intelligence officials to be the mastermind behind Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. He has long been in the sights of Israel, at least since (if not before) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned his name in an expose on Iran’s nuclear program in 2018.
Iran has already suffered several devastating attacks this year. Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian commander, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January, and several mysterious explosions and fire that crippled an advanced centrifuge assembly plant at the Natanz facility, which is widely believed to have been an act of sabotage.
With Iran vowing revenge, Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has warned Israelis abroad to increase their security alert. Walla News reported that Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz told Israeli missions around the world to increase vigilance and security readiness for fear of an Iranian response.
“It is incumbent on all of us to ensure the safety and health of all employees of the mission and their families, without exception,” Ushpiz wrote.
Israel is also concerned that Iran may attack Israeli tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates in retaliation for the assassination, according to Channel 12 on Sunday.