|© REUTERS / WANA NEWS AGENCY
Senior Iranian officials have blamed Friday’s assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Israel. Tel Aviv has so far remained silent on the matter.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist who was killed Friday on the outskirts of Tehran, was such a crucial figure in the country's covert nuclear programme that it will be hard to replace him with someone of similar leverage and stature, according to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the ex-head of Israeli military intelligence, who referred to Fakhrizadeh as "the core source of authority, knowledge, and organisation of this programme".
He told a recent briefing for journalists that Iran's nuclear programme has two domains: an open part, stipulating the production of nuclear material that Tehran says is meant for civilian use, and a covert portion pertaining to weaponisation, which Iran denies.
While admitting that the recent killing, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, will hardly do any significant damage to the former, Yadlin acknowledged that the negative repercussions for the latter would "be huge", but they "cannot be measured since nobody knows exactly the scope and the depth and what the Iranians are doing covertly". Tel Aviv hasn't yet made any formal comment on the killing.
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