Former CIA Head Brennan Says Killing Of Iranian Nuclear Physicist 'Highly Reckless'

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th November, 2020) Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan says the killing of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh could lead to an escalation of regional tensions since retaliation in highly likely.

Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian nuclear physicist and the head of the Iranian Defense Ministry's research and innovation center, was attacked by gunmen in the town of Absard in Iran's Tehran Province on Friday. He was gravely injured and died at a hospital.

"This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits," John Brennan said on Twitter.

Iran has accused Israel of being involved in the death of the nuclear scientist. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the international community to condemn the act. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the killing would not go unanswered and that there would be a response "at the right time."

"I do not know whether a foreign government authorized or carried out the the murder of Fakhrizadeh. Such an act of state-sponsored terrorism would be a flagrant violation of international law & encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials," Brennan said on Twitter, commenting on the situation.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Saturday that the international community should condemn the attack that claimed the life of the Iranian nuclear physicist and called on the United Nations to step up counter-terrorism efforts.

"These assassinations are far different than strikes against terrorist leaders & operatives of groups like al-Qaida & Islamic State, which are not sovereign states. As illegitimate combatants under international law, they can be targeted in order to stop deadly terrorist attacks," Brennan said on Twitter.

A spokesperson of the German Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Saturday that Berlin was concerned that the killing of the Iranian physicist could increase tensions in the middle Eastern region.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned the killing of Fakhrizadeh, calling it "heinous murder" and warning against any actions that could threaten regional peace and stability.