Last week's assassination of Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist, appears to be one calculated to send many messages, not least of which is that Israel - accused of masterminding the attack - has not only the means but also the diplomatic cover for such operations. Dr Fakhrizadeh was killed last Friday in a firefight outside the capital Teheran despite the high level of security accorded him. The Iranian government has fingered Israel for the murder and has vowed retaliation. Dr Fakhrizadeh's body was taken to various sites holy to Iranian Muslims before being buried yesterday in the presence of his family and senior military commanders.
What now? Mr Ali Akbar Velayati, international affairs adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear that Iran "will avenge the blood of this great martyr from the terrorist elements and their supporters". The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major-General Mohammad Bagheri, also warned of "severe revenge". There are calls within Iran for the country to leave the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and for it to now ban international inspections of its nuclear facilities. Kayhan, a hardline Iranian daily, wants to see strikes against Israel.