If Israel were to kill a top Iranian official, an act that had the potential to start a war, it would need the consent and protection of the United States. That meant acting before Mr. Biden could come to power. In Mr Netanyahu’s best-case scenario, the assassination would derail any chance to revive the nuclear deal, even if Mr Biden were to win.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh grew up in a conservative family in the holy city of Qom, the theological heart of Shia Islam. He was 18 when the Islamic Revolution overthrew the Iranian monarchy, a historic reckoning that captured his imagination.
He wanted to realize two dreams: to become a nuclear scientist and to join the military wing of the new government. As a symbol of his devotion to the revolution, he wore a silver ring with a large, oval red agate, the same type worn by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and by General Suleimani.
He joined the Revolutionary Guard and rose to the rank of general. He earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Isfahan University of Technology with a dissertation on “identifying neutrons,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency and a longtime friend and colleague.
He led the Guards missile development program and pioneered the country’s nuclear program. As Defense Ministry research director, he played a key role in the development of homegrown drones and traveled to North Korea to join forces for missile development, according to two Iranian officials. At the time of his death, he was Deputy Defense Minister.
“In terms of nuclear and nanotechnology and biochemical warfare, Mr. Fakhrizadeh was a character similar to Qassim Suleimani, but in a totally secretive way,” Gheish Ghoreishi, who has advised Iran’s foreign ministry on Arab affairs, said in a statement. an interview.
When Iran needed sensitive equipment or technology banned under international sanctions, Mr Fakhrizadeh found ways to obtain it.