Tehran- Retired four-star US Admiral William McRaven has said that a retaliatory strike by Iran in the wake of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by Israel is all but inevitable.
“Iran, you know, either suspects or knows that Israel was responsible for this attack,” McRaven, a former SEAL and commander of US Special Operations Command, said in an interview with ABC News on Monday.
“The Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to retaliate” against either the US or Israel for the November 27 terrorist attack near Tehran, he said.
“I don’t see any way around it,” he added.
“So now the issue becomes, what does that retaliation look like? Does that then begin to escalate the problems in the region?” he asked.
“That’s not going to be good for anybody,” McRaven said.
Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in a small city east of the capital Tehran in an ambush attack on his vehicle involving an explosion and machine gun fire on Friday.
Fakhrizadeh’s death came two years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during an erroneous presentation about Iran’s nuclear activities, warned the world to “remember that name.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said there were “serious indications” that the Israeli regime was responsible for the assassination.
One American official and two other intelligence officials confirmed to the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack.
Following the assassination, the US military has moved the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier back into the Persian Gulf along with other warships.
Former CIA head John Brennan has denounced the state-sponsored killing of the scientist as a “criminal” act.
He described the assassination as a crime that risked to inflame regional conflict in the Middle East.
McRaven and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who appeared on NBC News on Sunday also expressed concern at how the new Pentagon leadership team appointed by President Donald Trump would handle retaliation by Iran.
“I’m actually very concerned about the Trump loyalists who have now gone to work in the Pentagon,” Mullen said.
Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper November 9 and installed Christopher C. Miller, a retired Army colonel and Special Forces officer, in an acting role.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.