An opposition group to the regime in Iran is now suspected alongside Israel in the Friday assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear commander, according to an Iranian official Monday.
“This was a very complicated assassination that was carried out remotely with electronic devices. We have some clues but surely the ‘Monafeghin’ group was involved and the criminal element behind it is the Zionist regime and Mossad,” Secretary of the Supreme National Security of Iran Ali Shamkhani said.
“Monafeghin” refers to the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK), which founded the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a bloc of opposition groups and organizations that aim to topple the current regime.
The NCRI is now based out of France and Albania and still under led by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. The group was listed as a foreign terrorist organization in the U.S. in 1997, but was removed in 2012 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Iranian press also reported that the weapon involved in Fakhrizadeh’s killing was Israeli made.
“The weapons collected from the site of the terrorist act bear the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry,” said an unnamed source to Press TV.
Eli Cohen, Israeli’s intelligence minister, told radio station FM 103 that he was unaware of who was responsible for Fakhrizadeh’s death but acknowledged the potential threat of retaliation by Iran due to the currently swirling suspicions.
“We have regional intelligence supremacy, and on this matter we are prepared. We are increasing vigilance in the places where that is required,” said Cohen.
Head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations Kamal Kharrazi has promised “a calculated and decisive answer to the criminals who took Martyr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh from the Iranian nation.”
Relations between Iran and the U.S. have been tense since President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018.
Iranian retaliation would put the potential of détente with a Biden Administration at risk and would complicate any efforts to revive the nuclear deal under a new presidency.