Tehran: Severe reactions are emerging from Iran, which has been outraged with the killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. To denounce the assassination, Iranian people took to the streets and burned the images of US President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden to express their discontent. Simultaneously, protestors shouted the slogans – ‘War on America’, ‘No to concession with America’, ‘Military action against assassins of Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh’ and ‘Teach Israel a lesson’. Iranian media has also echoed sentiments over Fakhrizadeh’s killing, and a daily has demanded attacking Israel’s Haifa port.
‘On Friday, unknown assailants assassinated nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a town near capital Tehran. The operators have not been located as yet. However, the assassins of Fakhrizadeh, a key figure in Iran’s nuclear program are also the ones that perpetrated the blasts on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility a few months ago. Israel alone is responsible for the killing,’ Iranian Energy Ministry Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi alleged. Also, Iranian ministers have accused Israel of executing the operation at the behest of the Trump administration.
A severe reaction is emerging from Iran over the killing of Fakhrizadeh. At the same time, the hardliners of the Basij Militia, which falls under Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has initiated protests in different cities across the country. The Iranian people, who have remained loyal to the regime, are participating in the demonstrations and are burning Israeli and US flags as even photos of US leaders. In the protests that took place outside the residence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the hardliners chanted slogans that said, ‘From now on, no to submission, no to concession with America, only war with America.’
The protesters asserted that Iran’s silence is permission for more assassinations as they demanded an aggressive stance from the Rouhani government. On the other hand, the Union of Islamic Student Societies, an influential Iranian organisation suggested the Rouhani government could resort to a military option. The organisation urged for military retaliation against the killers of Major General Qassem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. In January, the US had launched a drone strike in Iraq which caused the execution of Qassem Soleimani. Iran was expected to make fierce counter-attacks, but instead, it maintained vigil and chose not to deliver a severe response.
Nevertheless, the Iranian news outlet ‘Kayhan’ has now suggested striking the Haifa port, which is used as a commercial seaport. Further, the daily insisted Iran must launch an attack powerful enough to destroy Haifa and cause an enormous number of casualties. ‘Until now, Iran has not retaliated satisfactorily to the Israeli attacks in Syria, which is why it gathered the courage to do this. Iran must now definitely attack Haifa. The US or Israel will certainly not protest it as they do not have the readiness for waging war against Iran,’ claimed the daily.
Haifa city has always been a target for Iran and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. Only a few months ago, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah already threatened to cause massive devastation in Haifa city by making missile strikes on ammonium nitrate warehouses.