Iran said there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist and it reserves the right to defend itself, the country wrote in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Friday.
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“Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests,” Iran's UN envoy, Majid Takht Ravanchi, wrote in the letter, which was seen by Reuters.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb program was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday that could provoke confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump's presidency.
The military adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed to “strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr.”
“In the last days of the political life of their ... ally (Trump), the Zionists seek to intensify pressure on Iran and create a full-blown war,” Hossein Dehghan tweeted.
Channels of the Telegram encrypted messaging app believed to be close to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards reported that the top security body, the Supreme National Security Council, had convened an emergency meeting with senior military commanders present.
There was silence from foreign capitals. Israel declined to comment. The White House, Pentagon, US State Department and CIA also declined to comment, as did Biden's transition team.