Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Biography, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Wiki
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi was a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a senior official in the nuclear program of Iran. He taught physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran. A UN Security Council resolution in 2007 identified him as a senior scientist in the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics and the former head of the Physics Research Center (PHRC) at Lavizan-Shian. He was the leader of AMAD Project and the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research in Iran.
Fakhrizadeh was born in Qom in 1958. He became a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after the Iranian revolution in 1979.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi Career
Academic career (1991–2020)
Fakhrizadeh received his BA in nuclear physics from the University of Tehran in 1987. He studied for a master’s degree at the University of Isfahan and received a PhD in nuclear radiation and cosmic rays.[additional citation(s) needed]
According to Alireza Jafarzadeh, Fakhrizadeh was a member of the Imam Hossein University faculty beginning in 1991.
In the early 2000s, Fakhrizadeh led an initiative called the Biological Study Centre, described as a successor to the Physics Research Centre (PHRC). The activities of this research group took place at Lavizan-Shian.
Fakhrizadeh played a key role in developing “homegrown” COVID-19 testing kits for Iran, which was hit particularly hard by the disease.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi UN sanctions (2006–2007)
As of 2006–07, Fakhrizadeh was subject to a United Nations Security Council asset freeze and travel notification requirements because the Council said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had asked to interview Fakhrizadeh and Iran refused to make him available. Iran has provided some information regarding Fakhrizadeh’s work which the IAEA says is “not inconsistent with its findings”, but the IAEA continues to seek corroboration of its findings. According to the UN designation, Fakhrizadeh was a senior Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics scientist and former head of the Physics Research Center (PHRC). The IAEA asked to interview him about the activities of the PHRC over the period he was head, but Iran denied the request. Fakhrizadeh was identified as a “key figure” in a 2007 report by the UN on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (2011–2020)
After the AMAD Project was discontinued, Fakhrizadeh has established and led the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), a government-funded entity specializing in the research and development of nuclear weapons. Transliterated Sazman-e Pazhohesh va Noavarihaye Defaee, SPND was founded in February 2011 and headquartered within Iran’s Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics. Fakhrizadeh was SPND’s director between 2008 and 2011. SPND was affiliated with Malek-Ashtar University of Technology.
Nuclear weapons programme (2007–2020)
An internal 2007 Iranian document leaked to The Sunday Times identified Fakhrizadeh as the chairman of the Field for the Expansion of Deployment of Advanced Technology (FEDAT), the cover name for the organization running Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. The document, entitled Outlook for Special Neutron-Related Activities over the Next Four Years, lays out a four-year plan to develop a uranium deuteride neutron initiator.
As a key figure in the Physics Research Center, Fakhrizadeh was responsible for planning and acquiring parts for acquiring parts for Iran’s first uranium enrichment plant.
In 2010, The Guardian reported that Fakhrizadeh was believed to be in charge of Iran’s nuclear programme. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal called him “Tehran’s atomic weapons guru”; in 2014, The New York Times called him the closest thing to an Iranian Oppenheimer. Following Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described him as “the country’s prominent and distinguished nuclear and defensive scientist”. Western intelligence agencies, including those of the United States, alleged that Fakhrizadeh was in charge of Iran’s nuclear programme, Project 111, which they contend is or was an attempt to create a nuclear bomb for Iran; Iran has denied that its nuclear programme has a military aspect. Fakhrizadeh has been referred to as the director of the Green Salt Project. According to The New York Times, Fakhrizadeh was described in classified portions of American intelligence reports as deeply involved in an effort to design a nuclear warhead for Iran.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi Assassination
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article. (Discuss) (November 2020)
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi Ambush
On 27 November 2020, Fakhrizadeh was ambushed while traveling in a vehicle on a rural road in Absard, a city near Tehran. According to an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps documentary filmmaker, Fakhrizadeh was attacked by 12 assailants. The attack was initiated when a Nissan truck carrying explosives hidden beneath a load of wood detonated near Fakhrizadeh’s car. A second vehicle was destroyed with a bomb. Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards then clashed with gunmen. Three bodyguards were killed by the attackers, while others were wounded. Iranian sources reported that three to four of the attackers were killed. Fakhrizadeh’s family members were also killed or injured in the attack. There were also reports of a suicide attacker who later died from his injuries.
Fakhrizadeh was taken to a hospital where he died after efforts to resuscitate him failed.
Following the incident, Iranian security forces reportedly began stopping vehicles in Tehran in a search for the culprits.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for his killing.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi Response
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council reportedly convened an emergency meeting attended by senior military commanders. Hossein Salami, the chief commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), called for revenge and punishment for the perpetrators of the assassination. Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, also called for the punishment of the perpetrators and commanders of the terrorist act; his international affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati called Mohsen Fakhrizadeh a “great martyr” and called for revenge. Iranian officials stated that Fakhrizadeh would receive “the burial of a national hero at one of the country’s holiest shrines”.
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for restraint to avoid possible conflicts. The Federal Foreign Office, Germany’s foreign ministry, stated that “all parties” involved in the incident should avoid “escalation”, suggesting that any further steps by the United States or Iran could imperil future international talks about Iran’s nuclear programme.
Michael P. Mulroy, the Pentagon’s former top Middle East policy official, called the assassination “a setback to Iran’s nuclear program.” Former CIA director John Brennan called the killing “criminal” and “highly reckless.”
Although an official statement was not made, US President Donald Trump retweeted Israeli journalist Yossi Melman’s account of the incident.
The foreign ministers of Qatar, Turkey, and Iraq condemned the killing.
Allegations of Israeli involvement
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, suggested that Israel was behind the slaying of his country’s top nuclear scientist—and called it an act of “desperate warmongering”. Confirming the killing, he tweeted: “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. Iran calls on the international community—and especially EU to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.” and alleged Israeli involvement in the incident. Abdolrahim Mousavi, head of the Iranian army, blamed Israel and the US and threatened revenge. Hezbollah also criticized the killing and alleged US and Israeli involvement.
According to The New York Times, Fakhrizadeh was the number one target of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. Mossad was allegedly involved in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, some of whom were Fakhrizadeh’s deputies, in the 2010s. An American official and two other intelligence officials stated that Israel was behind the killing.
In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Fakhrizadeh and urged his audience to “remember his name” due to the importance of Fakhrizadeh as head of the research division of the ministry of defense.
Trita Parsi, the founder of the National Iranian American Council, labelled Israel the “prime suspect”. Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated that the ambush “certainly has the hallmarks of an Israeli operation”. According to The Guardian, Israel may have carried out the attack in order to take advantage of the waning term of President Trump.
Impact on Iran policy
Hossein Dehghan, the former minister of defense of Iran, who has been sanctioned by US Department of Treasury since November 2019, warned against any American military escalation in Trump’s final weeks in office. In an interview with the Associated Press, he warned that any American attack on Iran could set off a “full-fledged war” in the region.
At a cabinet meeting, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared, “The think tanks and the enemies of Iran must know that the Iranian nation and the officials in charge in the country are brave and determined to respond to the murder in time.”
On 29 November 2020, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei outlined his country’s response to the killing: “There are two matters that people in charge should put in their to do list: 1- To follow up the atrocity and retaliate against those who were responsible for it. 2- To follow up Martyr Fakhrizadeh’s scientific and technical activities in all fields in which he was active.”
Impact on U.S. policy
See also: 2019–2020 Persian Gulf crisis
Commentators believe that the killing may raise tensions in the region, and may complicate incoming US President Joe Biden’s relationship with Iran. Robert Malley, who advised previous US President Barack Obama on Iran, claimed that the attack was deliberately timed in order to make Biden’s attempts to negotiate with Iran more difficult. Biden had pledged to rejoin the Iranian nuclear deal. In the first European reaction to the killing, Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, stated that “It’s not unlikely that this targeted killing was part of efforts to prevent the Biden administration from reviving diplomacy with Iran and going back to the nuclear agreement.”
Former head of Israeli Defence Force intelligence Amos Yadlin claimed that “With the window of time left for Trump, such a move could lead Iran to a violent response, which would provide a pretext for a US-led attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.”
The killing has been compared to that of Qasem Soleimani.
Several hours after the killing, the Pentagon announced the return of the USS Nimitz to the region.
Funeral and remembrance
Remains and burial
Fakhrizadeh will be buried on Monday, 30 November 2020.
An Iranian reported stated that his remains would be brought on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Reza for blessing. Then, his body would be taken back to Tehran for a visit to Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb.
Following the killing, protests took place outside several government buildings in Tehran. Images of Trump and Biden, as well as US and Israeli flags, were burned.
Banners were also raised in his honor.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination
Notable detail of the elaborate plot to assassinate the ‘renowned and distinguished’ Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been leaked – the rogue country claimed Israel was behind the hit.
Known as the ‘father’ of Iran’s bomb program, Fakhrizadeh was shot and killed in his car by 12 highly trained assassins after an explosion in the city of Absard, 80 kilometers east of Tehran.
The killers, including a pair of snipers, were part of a 62-man conspirator group. The remaining 50 people were responsible for logistical support.
Extraordinary detail regarding the last moments of Fakhrizadeh, Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze claimed to have leaked information from country officials.
The death of Fakhrizadeh, with Iran repeatedly accusing Israel’s national intelligence agency Mossad for the assassination – with several prominent figures pledging revenge, created rapidly escalating tensions in the regions.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters related to the state, said yesterday that Iran’s first priority after killing is “the final punishment of the perpetrators and those who give orders. He did not give details.
And in an intervention that risked further fueling the conflict, a former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency described the assassination as a ‘criminal’ act and branded it as ‘extremely reckless’.
John Brennan, director of the CIA under President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017, said he did not know who was responsible for the Fakhrizadeh murder, but that it ‘risks deadly retaliation and a new wave of regional conflict’.
An American official and two other intelligence officials told the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack.
Ahwaze said the attack was planned for a roundabout in Absard, at the foot of a tree-lined boulevard that entered the city.
The team was watching Fakhrizadeh and knew he was going to Absard from Tehran on Friday.
The 10,000-seat mountain shelter is the second home of many wealthy Tehranians and the 59-year-old Fakhrizadeh has a villa here.
The 12 assassins, described as highly educated and assisted by ‘security and intelligence services abroad’, were deployed to Absard, while 50 remaining in the 62-strong group helped logistical support. It did not specify whether they were in Iran or abroad.
At the ambush scene, a Hyundai Santa Fe with four passengers, four motorcycles and two snipers was waiting for the Fakhrizadeh with a booby-trapped Nissan van.
Ahwaze reported that electricity in the area had been cut off half an hour before the Fakhrizadeh’s convoy of three bulletproof cars arrived. The crew was on site when the first car passed the roundabout.
While the third car was passing, Nissan exploded, damaging power poles and transmitters, according to a state television report from the area on Friday night.
State television claimed that the explosive force from the bomb threw debris at least 300 meters.
The second car containing Fakhrizadeh was hit by 12 assassins, including two snipers.
According to Sepah Cybery, a social media channel affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, gunmen with the hit squad opened fire on the cars and there was an intense gunfight.
Ahwaze tweeted: “According to the Iranian leaks, he pulled Fakhrizadeh, the leader of the assassination squad, out of his car and shot him and made sure he was killed.”
Ahwaze reported that the hit squad later disappeared with no losses to their team.
Residents said they heard the sound of a big explosion, followed by intense machine-gun fire as the Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards responded.
They knew that the man they were protecting had been Mossad’s number one target for years.
A police helicopter landed in the area to transport Fakhrizadeh and the others to the hospital, according to a video released by a resident saying ‘several people died’.
When members of the Fakhrizadeh security team arrived at the hospital, they were surprised to find that there was no electricity after the power went out. They then move to Tehran.
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said on Friday at 22:28 (7:30 pm local time) that a ‘distinguished Iranian scientist’ was killed with the dubious assistance of Israel.
Fakhrizadeh’s body was lying in an open coffin covered with a flag in a mosque in central Tehran on Saturday, where Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s chief judge, prayed on his body in a public mourning demonstration.
His death, when Iran accused Israel of instigating a war by killing the scientist, sparked tension in the region – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out ‘Remember this name’ at a press conference.