Mohsein Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi has dedicated his life to his beloved Iran. He was recruited very early to the IRGC, made his career as an Engineer and as a great manager. There is no point in arguing whether he was the head of the nuclear weapons program or just a leading personality. Fact is that without Fakhrizadeh Iran would not have been able to go as far as it did in its weapons program. He always went all in, always pushed beyond the limit, always wanted to achieve more, up to the very end.
Everyone knew, you can always rely on Fakhrizadeh, so when COVID-19 started to ravage the country, he was called for duty. Very soon he found out where the real problems are. Fast test kits, budgets for beds and equipment and above all, the right priorities. Every time he came to decision makers, he got the same answers: you get the technology, we set the priorities. When the test kits started rolling out of the conveyer belt, Fakhrizadeh was becoming a problem. He went to see all his friends, all his connections in higher places. He thought that it was time to stop funding wars in Yemen and Syria even told his friends in IRGC they should consider to invest less in Iraq. But no-one listened. He asked to open the foreign accounts of IRGC to fight COVID-19, in order to back our economy, to produce our own kits and to buy our share in vaccines, but to no avail. This was not and is not on the Iranian agenda.
In his desperation he approached for help and advice his friends in the high command. They listened but took their time, too much time. He told them that they were fighting the wrong battles, that there is no point in enriching more than agreed on publicly? He thought that Iran should to stay focused on Corona and leave all the rest for better times, before it’s too late.
In the past Fakhrizadeh was known to have crossed the line more than once. But this time was too much. MOIS was called in. They had the experience needed to put an end to this growing problem, before Fakhrizadeh goes public. They have proven to be quiet and efficient, even if the Netherlands accused them of elimination of two dissidents in 2015 and 2017. But this was different. This had to look neat and clean, so they could blame someone else. Everbody wins: the Iranian government gets to be the victim, gets to keep its agenda alive, gets to show off with Iranian made testing kits, and Fakhrizadeh gets to be the Martyr he always wanted to be, or that’s at least what they told his wife to say on TV.
Problem is, the assassination was not clean, collateral damage was too much to handle and people started talking, quietly and in fear of being the next target. Some in regret of not having reacted earlier, some angry as they discovered MOIS’ dirty finger prints all over the assassination. If the truth comes out, the regime will be able to keep it down at home, but all the leverage they expected to gain from the Europeans will be lost.