Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was a marked man

The victim of the Mossad was more than just a nuclear scientist, he was the head of the Iranian bomb programme overall. That is why he had to go


There are three stages to making a nuclear bomb. First, the fissile material must be produced, which in Iran’s case is uranium. Then comes weaponisation, which means shaping the material into a warhead. Finally, you need to attach it to the means of delivery, usually a missile.

From an Israeli point of view, denying Iran the bomb means dealing with all three of these stages. Some people say that the fire at the uranium enrichment site in Natanz, Iran’s largest such facility, in August, was caused by the Mossad. That would be disrupting the fissile material stage.

In terms of the third stage, Major-General Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian military chief who was killed by an American missile, was involved with funding the nuclear programme and the means of delivery. His departure was a big hole in organising the means of delivery of the bomb.

Fakhrizadeh’s specialism was in stage two, weaponisation. There is only a small number of experts in Iran who understand the weaponisation process — we’re talking double digits. He was the foremost of them. His departure has created a vital break in the chain towards a viable nuclear weapon.

But Fakhrizadeh was even more important than this. He was the head of the Iranian nuclear programme overall. As we learned from the archive stolen by Mossad in 2018, he was responsible for building a cover story, with dual-purpose projects in academia, industry and the civilian world, allowing Iran to cultivate the manpower and know-how necessary to build a bomb.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is about to submit a report detailing the residuals it recently found in four different sites in Iran, which is evidence of nuclear tests and experiments. All of this was Fakhrizadeh. That is the reason why he was ready to depart.

His death was a big blow to Tehran, especially following the blow of the death of Soleimani. Maybe more blows will be necessary.

It is certain that if Iran developed the bomb, it would be a problem for the whole world, including the UK. Israel especially cannot live with a nuclear Iran. So we will defend ourselves by ourselves, and in the process we are defending you, too.

Jacob Nagel was Israel’s acting national security advisor under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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