The name of the senior Iranian scientist, Muhsan Fahri-Zada, did not say much to the Israeli public until Tuesday. However, the importance of the man at the top of the Iranian defense establishment is known to any Western intelligence organization that deals with the nuclear issue. It has been in the sights of Israel for many years now.
An Iranian video from the assassination scene. Photo: Social networks
More than eight years have passed since the last nuclear scientist in Iran was assassinated. The weekend assassination, after many years of avoiding assassinations, is also the most important and significant. There is no doubt that if Iran had chosen in the coming months to break into the nuclear bomb, Fakhri-Zada would have been the key man in carrying out the mission. Until his elimination, he was the man entrusted with maintaining Iran’s capabilities and knowledge until the day it decides that it risks open confrontation with the world – and breaks into nuclear capability.
The nuclear deal with the United States and the superpowers has halted the military nuclear program for many years. There are many gifted nuclear scientists in Iran, but there was only one scientist who also had proven operational-operational management capabilities and a direct connection to the top spiritual and governmental leadership in Iran.
Like Qassem Suleimani, who was assassinated earlier this year by the Americans in Iraq, Fahri-Zada is considered one of the most important security figures in Iran, far beyond his official job description and rank. Like Suleimani, whose assassination has severely damaged the scope and quality of Iranian Quds Force activity in the past year, Fahri Zadeh’s death is also likely to do much damage to Iran’s nuclear program. However, as in the first case, which hampers but does not stop the activities of Quds Force, so too with the continuation of the Iranian nuclear program. It may have suffered a severe blow, but it will continue to exist.
By the end of the week, the defense establishment believed that Iran would maintain restraint in the coming months, Until Joe Biden entered the White House in Washington. Even the recent violations of the nuclear deal were perceived at this stage more as signals and less as dramatic actions, heralding a dramatic decision made in Iran to break into the Iranian nuclear program.
Regarding what is happening in Syria and the Middle East, the defense establishment has also identified a time to apply more pressure recently. The acute economic crisis in Iran and the effects of the corona plague and Western sanctions have also done their part. Therefore, the leading assessment in Israel was that Tehran would not rush into unnecessary adventures with US President Donald Trump, just before entering the White House of Biden, who had already stated during the election campaign that he intended to resume talks with Iran.
But yesterday’s elimination changes the rules of the game and immediately increases the level of tension in the area. Although Israel remains silent and the Americans have not taken any responsibility, Iran is already pointing the finger of blame at Israel. GoThis means that in the coming months the level of preparedness, in the face of the possibility of Iranian revenge on Israeli targets in the world, or in other hostile activities, will be required to be maintained at the highest levels – and for a long time.
However, the assassination of Fahri Zada seems to put the Iranian leadership in a dilemma as to their response. On the one hand, Trump, who is waiting in the last days of his rule for a mistake on the part of the Iranians, will lead to a harsh American response. Such an action is feared in Iran, especially in the run-up to days of a new US administration, with which it may be possible to open a new page ahead of the renewal of the agreement.
On the other hand, this is perhaps the most difficult year for Iran in recent decades – from the assassination of Suleimani, through the attack on the Natanz nuclear reactor, to the recent assassinations of senior Al-Qaeda and Fahraizada officials. And so Iran, which has failed to carry out a response to these events, is in great embarrassment.
In this situation, where the ayatollahs’ government must wisely choose its course of action without being drawn into a dangerous confrontation with the Americans, It is not inconceivable that the speed with which the Iranian government has chosen to point the finger of blame at Israel also largely hints at the expected response. Therefore, in the coming months, the defense establishment – the Mossad, the GSS and the IDF – will be required to be prepared for the possibility of attempting to harm an Israeli target – around the world, along the borders or within Israel.