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Wiser heads must prevail after killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist

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Last week, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, was reportedly ambushed and killed outside Tehran by “a highly trained hit squad.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quick to blame Israel, describing the act as an indication of “desperate warmongering of perpetrators.”

As a former diplomat in Japan’s foreign service, I don’t really believe in conspiracy theories. That said, however, an exception could be made this time.

As Washington and Jerusalem have kept silent, at least officially, the obvious questions remain unanswered. Who was behind the attack? Why did they do it? Will Iran retaliate? How will the United States react? What’s more, what should Japan do?

Who is the perpetrator?

By all accounts, it’s apparent that the act was executed by a group of highly skilled professionals. An operation involving 12 assassins and 50 logistical members simply can’t be carried out by a group of amateurs.

The Washington Post had reported that “there’s already an expert consensus — confirmed by a senior U.S. official — that Israel was behind the assassination,” although Jerusalem will never officially admit to being involved.

If Israel was in fact behind the plot, the next question is why did they act now?

Why did they act now?

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was considered the “father........

© The Japan Times

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