UPDATED 1:50 PM PT – Saturday, November 28, 2020
Iran’s supreme leader said he plans to strike back for the killing of the top nuclear scientist in the Islamic Republic.
On Saturday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments that he will pick up Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s work. However, western and Israeli governments have been led to believe Fakhrizadeh headed a secret program to create weapons.
This could spark tension with the U.S. as Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani quickly blamed U.S. ally, Israel, for the execution.
“This brutal and cowardly terror attack showed that our enemies are experiencing weeks of anxiety,” Rouhani said. “Weeks when they feel their stress is being reduced and global conditions are changing.”
Furthermore, Israeli embassies are reported to be on high alert.
On Friday, Fakhrizadeh was in his car near Tehran when he was attacked and shot. He was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day.
On Saturday, angry protesters took to the streets where they were seen burning U.S. and Israeli flags.
“The limitations of the nuclear deal were a barrier to the progress of this martyr,” Abolfazl Aboei, a conservative member of parliament, stated. “These restrictions must be lifted.”
U.S.-Iran tensions have risen over the last few years after the U.S. pulled out of an international nuclear deal, which caused the Iranian economy to plummet.
However, President Trump said the U.S. pulled out of the deal because it only addressed Iran’s nuclear weapons program and excluded the nation’s other problematic practices.
Fakhrizadeh’s death could increase tension between the countries.
Iran has retaliated in the past. For example, last January the country fired missiles at a U.S. base after a U.S. drone killed Iran’s commander.