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Rouhani: Scientist’s assassination sign of enemies’ failure to stop Iran’s scientific march

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian students burn posters depicting US President Donald Trump (top) and President-elect Joe Biden, during a rally in front of the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, on November 28, 2020, to protest the killing of prominent nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the recent assassination of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist by Zionist elements was a grave and inhumane crime aimed at curbing the nation’s march toward scientific progress.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, was targeted in a multi-pronged terrorist attack by a number of assailants in Absard city of Tehran Province’s Damavand County on November 27.

On Wednesday, the Iranian administration said the country’s Intelligence Ministry has identified the individuals involved in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

“Without a doubt, this terrorist incident is a sign of the failure of sworn enemies of the Iranian nation to stymie the scientific and research movement launched by our scientists,” Iran’s president said in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday, emphasizing that “the government of Iran reserves the right to avenge this martyr in due time.”

Iran’s chief executive noted, “The assassination of this scientist was a grave crime and inhumane act.”

Elsewhere in his phone call, Rouhani pointed to the ongoing cooperation between Iran and the neighboring Turkey, saying, “Both countries are determined to develop economic and trade relations, but unfortunately, US sanctions have prevented us from doing so and do not allow us to continue trade, economic and banking cooperation in an easy way.”

Iran’s president also highlighted the need for more convergence and collaboration between Iran and Turkey, especially on matters of international concern, saying, “Iran and Turkey can reduce rifts in the Muslim world through consultations and cooperation and can invite the Islamic Ummah to unity.”

The Turkish president, for his part, condoled with the government and nation of Iran on Fakhrizadeh’s assassination and also expressed his condolences to his family while vigorously condemning this act of terrorism.

“There is no doubt that this terrorist attack has targeted peace and tranquility in our region,” Turkey’s president said.

Erdogan expressed hope that perpetrators behind this assassination will be identified as soon as possible and brought to justice.

“I hope the plots hatched by dark circles that want to sow instability in our region would be thwarted,” Erdogan added.

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