Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), claimed Friday that Israel is “nearing collapse” because of its “cowardly and brutal crimes,” such as its alleged assassination of Iranian nuclear weapons scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Salami accused the “Zionist regime” of masterminding the attack.
“The Zionist regime and its cohorts will definitely pay the price for such barbaric crimes, and the great Iranian nation will take a harsh revenge on them at the proper time,” Salami vowed after meeting with Fakhrizadeh’s family, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
The Tehran Times quoted Salami comparing Fakhrizadeh to IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, who was eliminated by a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in January while coordinating terrorist attacks against American positions in that country.
“The crime of the savage terrorists created a great honor for the martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh, and it presented this scientist as General Haj Qassem Soleimani, who had taken revenge on the Americans many times during his lifetime,” Salami railed.
Salami said Iran would retaliate against the “Zionist regime” for Fakhrizadeh’s death at the “proper time.”
There is little objective evidence to suggest Israel is in danger of collapsing, as Salami asserted. The day before his remarks, Morocco became the fourth nation to join President Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords initiative and normalize relations with Israel, joining the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi called for calm Thursday and pleaded with Iran not to carry out its threats to retaliate for the death of Fakrizadeh by increasing uranium enrichment and ejecting IAEA inspectors from nuclear sites.
“If implemented, these measures would be an even further deviation from the commitments that Iran entered into when it joined the agreement,” Grossi said, referring to the Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“I cannot imagine who would win from such a situation. If there was any limitation of the IAEA inspectors as a result of this or any other situation were curtailed in their work. Very clearly we would have to inform about this. We would have to be very clear to the world this is happening. And this in itself would not help anyone including Iran,” Grossi said.
The Tehran Times noted that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asserted last week that Iran is “entitled to take retaliation from the elements behind the assassination of the martyr [Fakrizadeh].”
“For us, it is completely clear who has committed this act of terror and what method was adopted to perpetrate this atrocity,” Rouhani said.