Iran's top nuclear scientist killed
April 2018, the Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a dramatic presentation in English of what he said was a huge Israeli intelligence hall. He said it proved that Iran had pursued a nuclear weapons program. On the stage. Behind him were shelves full of ring binders and dozens of CDs. Microphone in hand. He gave a lengthy power point presentation. At one point. He emphasized that one off the main Iranian nuclear scientists was a man called Mohsen Factory today. Key part of the plan was to form new organizations to continue the work. This is how Dr Muslim Fuck is a dead head of project about put it, remember that name Fuck is a day. So here's his director. That's right here. And he says the general aim is to announce the closure of project Ahmad. But then he adds special activities. You know what that is? Special activities will be carried out under the title of Scientific Know how developments. Remember that name, said Mr Netanyahu will on Friday. Most in factories today was killed by a gunman just outside Tehran. Iran has accused Israel of the assassination on the president has sent. Rouhani said that the killing of their top nuclear scientists will not slow down Iran's nuclear program. This is what Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, tweeted on Friday. Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today, this cowardice with serious indications of an Israeli roll shows desperate warmongering of the perpetrators. Iran calls in the international community and especially the European Union. And their shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror. Well, there's been no response so far from Israel. Let's speak to the BBC's chief International correspondent Lease Do Set, whose lives on the line from Saudi Arabia is Capital, Riyadh and in the region as a whole lease. Presumably people are still digesting this news and the significance of it. Adjusting and worrying about the news. I have to say, because the region divides along those who would firmly back this Alliance, If you like between Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, the Saudi leadership on by the team of President Trump in regarding Iran is the main enemy in the region, and that would include the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who recently signed Theo peace deals as they were called with the state of Israel, But countries like Iraq Lebanon. Syria, which have very close ties to Iran, one way or the other will be worried because what we've seen in the past when retaliation comes and it is certain to calm in some form at some time. It is often executed in the region through proxies. So I think the region as a whole is nervous. But they were nervous already because there is a growing sense in the region that this is being regarded but particularly by Israel and Saudi Arabia as a last moment to try to inflict crippling blows on Iran's nuclear program before the new team of President Biden enters the White House, talking about Joining the 2000 and 15 nuclear deal that President Trump pulled out of and has been trying to destroy ever since. If that retaliation is, as you say, certain to common, it will probably happen. In the region. When you look back at what Iran has done in the past, when faced with similar situations, what has it tended to do by way of retaliation? This is a very sensitive moment fraught with risk and Iran. Knows that everyone knows that and not not just in the region, but in many Western capitals as well. The If Iran retaliates now there is a risk and it knows it that there will be another retaliation and that the region could again be plunged into even greater attention. Just as a new administration takes takes pop power in Washington, and this will jeopardize what is already going to be a very, very difficult effort. Try to get a negotiating track underway between the United States and Iran and the other big powers who were involved in the 2000 and 15 nuclear deal. So it Zaveri dangerous because Iran summon Iran maybe thinking we must retaliate because many will remember that after the assassination of Awesome Sulamani almost a year ago. The remained scene is the main architect of of Iran's policies across the region. There was a retaliation but a limited one. It wasn't a to use a word that's often used a spectacular one. But Iran must be wondering now. Well, what will we do This time? Our honor is at stake. Our strategic interests are at stake, but they may also fear that they're being Baited If you like that, if they attack that will be a signal for an even greater escalation by its enemies in the region. It's very, very, very difficult balance now. And everyone knows that If the Israelis are behind this, what are they? What are they thinking about the possible consequences of it? Do you believe Benjamin Netanyahu has had one driving ambition. You heard him in 2000 and 18. I wasn't the only time he brought a big power point presentation to the world stage to warn the world about the evils of Iran but the evils of there not just a nuclear program but of weaponized dead nuclear program. It has to be said that Yah yah! YAH also investigated and believe that that program was shelved in 2000 and three. They also talked to the report about most in factories a day. But since then, Israel, Israeli and American intelligence have believed despite Iran's denials that that program is continuing, so I think I mean, I can't put myself in the shoes of Israeli intelligence, the Saudi leadership, but Regard the greatest danger as Iran. Anything else pales in comparison least Thank you very much. Indeed. At least two set in Riyadh some thoughts from my guests and Holly Dagres. I mentioned at the start of the program that you're Appearance today is timely. What's your take on this? Well, I think we need to look for a moment at that Power Point presentation and April 2018 after Netanyahu gave his power point to an audience of one that being President Donald Trump. Weeks later, he withdrew unilaterally from the Iran nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions as part of his maximum pressure policy. We're now a little over two years into that maximum pressure policy, and it has proved to be a failure. It has neither changed the country's behavior nor trigger the regime's collapse in Iran. And so what's been happening here is that in the past couple of weeks U S President Donald Trump actually asked his national security team, at least after reports tell us and sought options to strike Iran over its nuclear program. And so while it was, he was dissuaded from a military strike. This possibly could have been one of the options that was floated to respond to the latest nuclear build up, which is that as part of The sanctions. Iran has decided for the past year it is going to it's going tol continue aspects or breach aspects of the nuclear court until these sanctions are removed. So essentially, this could very much be a last ditch effort by the Trump administration to tempt her on to retaliate. And scuttle any future diplomacy.