Photo: Sputnik. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior Iranian physicist and rocket. scientist, was killed in a brazen daylight ambush attack on his convoy while traveling along a rural road about 175 km east of Tehran. Iran almost immediately blamed Israel for the assassination. Tel Aviv has not made any formal statements on the matter.

TEHRAN, Iran–December 14th, 2020–Israel’s assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was aimed at destabilizing the region and provoking war in the final days of the “ill-fated Trump presidency,” President Hassan Rouhani announced Monday, making the comments at a press event.

Emphasizing that “the region’s stability” was of great importance to Iran, Rouhani warned that Tehran nonetheless reserves the right to retaliate for the assassination, but will do so at the time and place of its choosing.

Rouhani also commented on the potential for a Biden administration to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal scrapped by Donald Trump, saying the agreement was not “open to renegotiation,” and that Biden was “well aware of” that fact.

According to the president, the only option left for the US is to rejoin, and not to demand any changes related to missiles or regional issues. The former, he said, are “totally out of the question.”

Asked about whether Iran is considering making financial compensation a condition for the JCPOA, Rouhani said that while there was a great deal for the US to pay for, starting with the 1953 CIA coup d’état, setting compensation as a precondition would only ensure that sanctions remain in place for several more years. First, he said, the parties to the JCPOA must return to the agreement and lift anti-Iranian sanctions.

Rouhani also commented on Iran’s plans for oil exports in the coming year, saying he’d ordered the oil ministry to prepare to produce 2.8 million barrels of oil per day, with some 2.3 million bpd of that expected to be exported. Iran’s crude exports reached 2.15 million pbd in the aftermath of the JCPOA’s signing in 2015 before dropping to 600,000-700,000 pbd in 2020 amid US sanctions pressure and threats to bring Iranian crude exports down “to zero.”