SA calls for calm in Middle East after assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist

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International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.
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  • The South African government has condemned the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
  • International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor has called for restraint and calm in the Middle East following the assassination.
  • Fakhrizadeh was one of Iran's most prominent nuclear scientists.

The South African government has called for calm in the Middle East after the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Fakhrizadeh was one of Iran's most prominent nuclear scientists and was the head of the defence ministry's research and innovation organisation.

His death was confirmed by Iranian authorities on Friday.

He was fatally wounded while travelling outside Tehran during an attack on his car and a shootout between his security team and the attackers.

The Iranian government has accused the Israeli government of orchestrating the attack.

READ | Ex-CIA chief condemns 'criminal' assassination of Iranian

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor has condemned the assassination.

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
A handout picture provided by the Iranian Supreme Leaders official website on 27 November, 2020, shows scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

She noted that Fakhrizadeh was the second prominent Iranian to be killed in this manner this year.

Pandor added that the targeted killing of Iranians will further exacerbate the volatility in the region, saying extrajudicial killings of this nature have a destabilising effect.

"We commend the restraint of the Iranian government, despite the continued unfair targeting and outside interference in the affairs of the country," she said.

Pandor has appealed to all states to work towards lasting peace and security in the Middle East through dialogue, rather than confrontation, and added that South Africa is ready to assist in this regard.

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