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Eminent physicist assassination aims to hinder Iran’s strategic research, former AEOI chief

The assassination of Iran’s prominent physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is aimed at obstructing the Islamic Republic’s strategic research, says an Iranian lawmaker and nuclear scientist, stressing that the country will strongly resist the enemies’ pressure.

Fakhrizadeh, who headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (known by its acronym as SPND), was targeted on Friday in a multi-pronged attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

Speaking to Press TV on Friday, Fereydoun Abbasi, the former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said he was also a target of an assassination attempt some 10 years ago. He said such moves pursued a common target and aimed to cause fear in the Iranian scientific society in order to stop strategic research and overshadow improvements and achievements.

“They are going to put fear in our community by assassinating some elites in order to push us into negotiations with them but as of past, we are going to resist these pressures and our country is not dependent on an individual.”

He emphasized that Iranian scientists would proceed with their path despite hardships.

On November 29, 2010, terrorists detonated bombs attached to the vehicles of university professors Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi. Professor Shahriari was assassinated immediately, but Dr. Abbasi and his wife survived the attack with minor injuries.

When asked about Iran’s appropriate response to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, Abbasi said the Islamic Republic would “not retaliate in a way they have in mind – an inhumane way – but the response would be proper in kind.”

He added that Iran would push its way wisely and would not “commit a crime against their agents.”

“We are not going to do similar things as they did, but we are going to support freedom-lovers and we ask the freedom-lovers of the world to put pressure on these criminals to end what they are doing,” the Iranian nuclear scientist said.

He noted that these criminals should realize that their achievements must not depend on the assassination of other peoples and scientists.

In response to a question about his thoughts on the Friday assassination, Abbasi said Fakhrizadeh was martyred in an armed struggle when his car was stopped and he was out of the vehicle alongside his wife.

Serving as an atomic expert, Fakhrizadeh made great efforts to promote Iran’s nuclear energy program but he had been under the supervision of the secret agents of the Israeli regime who finally succeeded in assassinating him with several bullets, he added.

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