(New York, N.Y.) – The head of Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed over the weekend in the suburbs of Tehran. Fakhrizadeh, a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was the chief architect behind the Iranian regime’s ambitions to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. In 2007, he was named in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 for his leadership in the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile activities. Later, Fakhrizadeh reportedly participated in a nuclear weapons test in North Korea.
United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s report, Iran’s Nuclear Program Overview, provides a comprehensive analysis into Iran’s nuclear program. The UANI report, Iran & North Korea – Nuclear Proliferation Partners, outlines the regime’s strategic nuclear alliance with North Korea.
Fakhrizadeh’s death comes as European leaders, Russia and China prepare to meet on December 16 to discuss “ongoing work to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” which the U.S. exited in May 2018. The regime has violated the terms of the agreement in increasingly provocative ways. Just last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran has increased its stockpile of low enriched uranium to roughly 12 times the limit imposed by the JCPOA. The continuation of Iran’s nuclear program has occurred against a backdrop of its unabated support for global terrorism and attacks against U.S. armed forces and U.S. allies.
Fakhrizadeh, in addition to his work for the regime, was also well regarded in Pyongyang. Iran and North Korea have a decades-long record of cooperation, especially in the realm of nuclear and ballistic missile development. During Fakhrizadeh’s long tenure, knowledge and technology flowed both ways between these partners, enabling each to refine and advance their illicit proliferation activities. Fakhrizadeh and other Iranian officials were present at North Korea’s first three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, and 2013.
Thanks in large part to his work, Iran’s nuclear program is extensive, highly developed and advanced to the degree that a military nuclear capacity is within the realms of possibility. The Organization of Defensive Research and Innovation, which he headed, is a well-entrenched bureaucracy. The U.S. government has accused it of preserving much of the “intellectual wealth” of Iran’s past nuclear weapons program.
To read UANI’s resource, Iran’s Nuclear Program Overview, please click here.
To read UANI’s resource, Iran & North Korea – Nuclear Proliferation Partners, please click here.