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International community must show firm reaction to killing of elite: Iran envoy

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)
This picture shows the scene of a terrorist attack that claimed the life of prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province, on November 27, 2020. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations office in Geneva, Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, says the international community must show a firm reaction to the assassination of senior physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh given the great services he rendered in health and medical treatment sectors.

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

In a letter to Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday, Baghaei Hamaneh said the international community must react decisively to the assassination, which, he added, was a clear example of "warmongering state terrorism" that values no moral and human principles as well as international norms and regulations.

He pointed to the Iranian scientist’s great health and treatment services, including the production of the country's first-ever coronavirus test kits and also the management of a project to produce the COVID-19 vaccine, and said the late November act of terror was in line with the policy of exerting maximum pressure on the Iranian nation.

Baghaei Hamaneh emphasized that it is not justifiable at all to remain silent and passive towards this murder as it may lead to such crimes becoming routines all over the world.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that the recent assassination by ‘Zionist elements’ was a grave and inhumane crime aimed at curbing the nation’s march toward scientific progress.

“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,” Rouhani said in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emphasizing that “the government of Iran reserves the right to avenge this martyr in due time.”

On Wednesday, the Iranian administration said the Intelligence Ministry had identified the individuals involved in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

UNESCO must condemn terrorist crime against Fakhrizadeh: Iran envoy

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Ahmad Jalali on Friday censured the body’s “unjustifiable” silence and inaction over the assassination.

“You are all aware that terrorists assassinated the fifth Iranian top scientist six days ago. For many years, hundreds of scientists from developing countries have been killed and we are doing nothing,” Jalali said while addressing a virtual session of UNESCO’s Executive Board.

“Dear colleagues, if there is only one world organization to address this serious issue, it is UNESCO. In the same way that it has assumed responsibility for the security of journalists and found a solution.”

“Today, not as an Iranian nor as an academic but as an individual who has spent 20 years of his life in this house, I urge UNESCO not to remain silent but to condemn it (the assassination of Fakhrizadeh),” the Iranian diplomat said.

"Let us find a solution together. Terrorism must be condemned, no matter whom it targets; scientists, teachers, journalists or anyone else."

Earlier in the day, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, Kazem Gharibabadi, had taken a similar stance with regard to the silence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the matter.

In a letter to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, he said the “cowardly terrorist act” of assassinating Fakhrizadeh required proper attention from the international community and that Iran expected the IAEA to “clearly and unequivocally” condemn the heinous crime.

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