Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist

Context:  Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist threatens will have serious geopolitical implications in West Asia and beyond

Background

  • Fakhrizadeh, who is widely regarded as a key figure in Iran’s nuclear weapons programme was recently killed in an ambush attack on a rural road outside Tehran.
  • Also, note that Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general in charge of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard was killed by a US drone strike in January.

What would be its impact on Peace in West Asia?

  • Direct Wars: Iran has hinted that Israel and Saudi Arabia are behind the attack and has vowed revenge. Since the Iran-Iraq war, Tehran has conducted a sort of cold war against its rivals, acting largely through proxies such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen, rather than engaging in a direct conflict. A retaliation to the Fakhrizadeh assassination could change the dynamics of this conflict.
  • Threatens renewal of nuclear deal with US: Israel can push Biden to seek greater concessions from Iran while re-negotiating the nuclear deal which Donald Trump pulled out. This hard strategy can result in strengthening more radical forces within Iran disturbing peace in West Asia.
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