Iran Newspaper: Strike Haifa if Israel Killed Scientist


An opinion piece published by a hard-line Iranian newspaper on Sunday suggested Iran should attack the Israeli port city of Haifa if Israel carried out the killing of a scientist linked to its disbanded military nuclear program.

Though the hard-line Kayhan newspaper has long argued for aggressive retaliation for operations targeting Iran, Sunday's opinion piece went further, suggesting any assault be carried out in a way that destroys facilities and "also causes heavy human casualties."

Israel, suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the past decade, has not commented on Friday's slaying of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Iranian officials roundly have blamed Israel for the attack, raising the specter of renewed tensions that could engulf the region, including U.S. troops stationed in the Persian Gulf and beyond.

Kayhan published the piece written by Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei, who argued Iran's previous reactions to suspected Israeli airstrikes that killed Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria didn't go far enough to deter Israel.

Striking Haifa and killing a large number of people "will definitely lead to deterrence, because the United States and the Israeli regime and its agents are by no means ready to take part in a war and a military confrontation," Zarei wrote. He said an assault on Haifa needed to be greater than Iran's ballistic missile attack against American troops in Iraq following the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in January.

Haifa, on the Mediterranean Sea, has been threatened in the past by both Iran and one of its allies, Lebanon's Hizbullah. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recently suggested striking Haifa's stores of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive fertilizer that fueled the deadly Beirut port blast in August that killed 193 people and wounded 6,500 others.

While Kayhan is a small circulation newspaper in Iran, its editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and has been described as an adviser to him in the past.

The Iranian parliament on Sunday held a closed-door hearing about Fakhrizadeh's killing. Afterward, parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf said Iran's enemies must be made to regret killing him.

"The criminal enemy does not regret it except with a strong reaction," he said in a broadcast on Iranian state radio.

State television broadcast images of Fakhrizadeh's casket being flown to Mashhad, a holy Shiite city in Iran's east home to the shrine of Imam Reza.

Analysts have compared Fakhrizadeh to being on par with Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led America's Manhattan Project in World War II that created the atom bomb.

Fakhrizadeh headed Iran's so-called AMAD program that Israel and the West have alleged was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency says that "structured program" ended in 2003. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful.

His killing likely complicates the plans of President-elect Joe Biden, who has said his administration will consider reentering Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. It also raises the risk of an open conflict in the remaining weeks in office for President Donald Trump, who unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the atomic accord in 2018, beginning a series of escalating incidents between Tehran and Washington.

Comments 7
Thumb doodle-dude 1 month

lol @ Strike Haifa = lol @Nuke Iran

Thumb justice 1 month

Cowardly Iran will do nothing.... except having its pawns in the Gulf carry out some kind of a terrorist act. All of a sudden the Iranians will push a button and the on-demand ISIS will surface somewhere in the Gulf.

Thumb doodle-dude 1 month

lol @ the native independent leftist from 'see above'

Thumb lubnani.masi7i 1 month

That is because ISIS' employer Iran does not want them to do so. Only last week the Al Qaeda second in command was liquidated in Tehran.

Thumb ansarullah 1 month

God bless the Islamic Republic of Iran for making plans to strike the port of Haifa and level it to the ground. Our holy Quds-1 through Quds-99 are just a push button away and are awaiting an order from our Supreme Leader and Marja' to finish the job.

Shea Shia Shea !!!

Missing un520 1 month

Firecrackers. Didnt kill a single soldier. Fortunately for Iran.

Missing phillipo 1 month

Maybe a few missiles would get through the Iron Dome defence system of Israel, but I wouldn't want to be in Tehran or any of their nuclear sites 10 minutes after the Iranian missiles are picked up on Israeli radar.