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Nuke chief’s death said to be ‘highpoint’ of Israeli efforts to sabotage Iran

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The assassination of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons mastermind Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the highpoint of a lengthy Israeli strategic plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, and deprives the Islamic Republic of an irreplaceable source of knowledge, Israeli television reported Saturday.

An unnamed Western intelligence source told Channel 12 the killing of the nuclear physicist, described in the past as the “father” of Iran’s project to develop nuclear weapons, was the “pinnacle” of Israel’s long-term plans.

Channel 13 reported that Fakhrizadeh had been a target of several Israeli prime ministers as well as several recent directors of the Mossad spy agency.

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Fakhrizadeh died in a bombing and shooting attack outside Tehran Friday. Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in an undated photo. (Courtesy)

Meanwhile, Israel was bracing for possible Iranian retaliation, as Iranian officials and US media asserted that the Jewish state was behind the hit. Israel has not officially commented on the matter.

Channel 12 said Israel “knows that Iran will respond” to the killing, without citing a source.

The matter of how Tehran might react remained up for debate, with pundits suggesting various scenarios: ramping up its nuclear program and enrichment work while abandoning international treaties; launching a major attack on Israel using missiles or other means; attacks on Israeli embassies or Israeli and Jewish targets around the world; attacks on Israeli ships; or attacks via its proxies along Israel’s borders in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria

TV reports said Israel had raised its alert level in embassies around the world, while Jewish communities across the globe were also taking precautions.

Israel’s security cabinet was set to convene Sunday for a meeting that had been scheduled in advance. There has been no word so far of the Israeli military raising its alertness level along the country’s borders.

The New York Times speculated that the main goal of the assassination was actually to impede the incoming US administration’s ability to reach a diplomatic solution to the conflict with Iran. US President-elect Joe Biden has stated his intention to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran that has largely disintegrated since President Donald Trump left the deal in 2018. US President-elect Joe Biden smiles as he speaks at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, November 10, 2020 (AP........

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