Do not fall into “this trap”: Iran relies on diplomacy despite the attack


Iran apparently does not want to be deterred by the killing of a prominent nuclear physicist – and continues to hope for a new version of the nuclear agreement. Apparently, Tehran sees the attack as an attempt to hinder new talks with President Biden.
According to a government spokesman, Iran should not sacrifice diplomatic efforts because of the fatal attack on nuclear physicist Mohsen Fachrisadeh. “We should definitely not fall into this trap,” said Ali Rabiei. According to Rabiei, there were also attacks on Iranian nuclear physicists during the nuclear talks with the world powers between 2005 and 2015. But even then, the negotiations continued and not abandoned because of the attacks, the spokesman said, according to the news portal Alef.

Fachrisadeh was killed in a suburb of Tehran’s capital on Friday. Iran immediately accused “local mercenaries” from the US and Israel – but so far nobody has officially admitted to the attack. The goal of US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to provoke a military confrontation with Iran before the end of Trump’s term on January 20. Another goal is to block any rapprochement with the new US government under Joe Biden, or at least to make it more difficult, according to assessments in Tehran.

President Hassan Ruhani and the moderate forces in the country want to avoid an escalation in the region before Biden takes office at all costs. Ruhani is particularly concerned with a possible return of Biden to the Vienna nuclear agreement of 2015, from which Trump left in 2018. In the case, Ruhani also hopes for an end to the US sanctions that plunged Iran into the worst economic crisis in its history.

However, the hardliners and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) do not want diplomatic advances, but demand revenge and particularly threaten with attacks on Israeli targets. “The criminal enemy (Israel) will not regret this act as long as we do not show a consistent reaction,” said Parliament President and former IRGC commander Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf. The Islamist daily Kejhan even called for an attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa as soon as Israel’s role in the attack was proven.

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