Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused Israel of killing its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh amid the silence and complicity of the West and also called on Iran’s Gulf neighbours not to support Israel against Iran.
“Why is the West supporting Israeli terrorism? Why is Israel committing acts of terror against Iran, including [killing] our nuclear scientist, without condemnation and consequences from the West?” said Zarif addressing Med2020, an international forum held in Rome, on Thursday.
“I want to ask our neighbours, are they ready to fight Israel’s fight with Iran?” said Zarif in reference to the recent agreements to normalise diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
“We are neighbours we will be in this region together, I don’t think they will allow Israel to bring the fight here.”
It was the first time Zarif spoke on an international platform after Fakhrizadeh’s killing last week, which caused outrage in the country and prompted the Iranian Parliament to demand its government to ramp up its nuclear programme.
While no party has claimed responsibility for the killing of Fakhrizadeh – viewed by Western powers as the architect of Iran’s abandoned nuclear weapons programme – Iran has accused Israel.
The assassination may complicate US President-elect Joe Biden’s intention to restore the Iranian nuclear deal. Outgoing President Donald Trump walked out of the agreement, signed by the previous administration, in 2018.
Zarif warned that the decision of the parliament would soon become law but could be reversed if sanctions against Iran were lifted and the US rejoined the nuclear deal without preconditions. But the US needed to take the first step, Zarif said.
“We did not withdraw, the US did,” said Zarif.
“Iran will go back to full compliance but the US must implement their obligations without preconditions. They must go back to full compliance and normalise Iran’s economic relations with the world. Stop making new conditions and outrageous demands. We showed the West our bona fides, now it’s time for the US to show theirs.”