Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and called for self-restraint to avoid a slide toward the “worst scenario.”
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an academic physicist, and a senior official in the nuclear program of Iran was killed on Friday in an ambush near Tehran.
Iran blamed the attack on Israel.
The second and current supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has promised to retaliate for the killing, raising the threat of a new confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Lebanese Foreign Ministry urged “all parties to exercise the greatest degrees of self-restraint to avoid the slide toward the worst scenario in the region,” taking into consideration that Lebanon is home to the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.
Hezbollah, which was founded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in 1982 and exercises major influence in Lebanon, said the response for the assassination is in Iran’s hands.
“We condemn this heinous attack and see that the response to this crime is in the hands of those concerned in Iran,” Sheikh Naim Qassem said in an interview with Al-Manar television.
He said Fakhrizadeh was killed by “those sponsored by America and Israel” and said the assassination was part of a war on Iran and the region.
Earlier this month, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Iran’s allies in the region should be in a state of high readiness in case of any “American or Israeli folly” during the remainder of U.S. President Donald Trump’s term.
When asked whether Israel could attack Lebanon during that time, Qassem said he did not believe so but that if it did Hezbollah was “fully prepared” for a confrontation.