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Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Assassinated

On November 27th, top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated outside the country’s capital of Tehran. He was gunned down in a sophisticated attack that lasted only a few minutes. Mr. Fakhrizadeh was instrumental in the development of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and was singled out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018 as the mastermind behind Iran’s ongoing attempt to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian government accuses Israel of carrying out the assassination.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Assassinated"


“Assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist shot with remote-controlled machine gun, news agency says”

“Iran says nuclear scientist killed by remote-controlled device”

“Iran opposition suspected alongside Israel in scientist’s killing, Shamkani says”

“Rouhani accuses ‘mercenary’ Israel of killing top Iran scientist”

“Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: What were the motives behind his killing?”

“ANALYSIS: What’s Behind the Assassination of Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist”

“Analysis: Killing of Nuclear Scientist May Save Countless Lives”

“Iran suffers more humiliation with killing of nuclear chief. But no one in the world’s most febrile region wants war”


  • Writing: Describe why the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has the potential to alter U.S. and Iranian relations under a Biden administration.
  • Debate: The U.S. and the international community should use whatever options exist to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
  • Poll: Should Iran have the option of developing nuclear weapons?
  • Short Answer: What would be the impact if other countries in the region developed and/or acquired nuclear weapons?

Current events quiz:

1) All the following are true EXCEPT.

a. Iran has a population under 100 million people.
b. Less than a fifth of the population lives below the poverty line.
c. The official government type within Iran is a constitutional monarchy.
d. Iran has the 16th largest military expenditures in the world.

2) President-Elect Biden has signaled which of the following concerning Iran?

a. Have Iran rejoin the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
b. Have the U.S. rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
c. Have Iran restart its nuclear weapons program.
d. Have the U.S. send troops to Iran.

3) Which of the following countries is widely believed to be responsible for the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh?

a. Israel
b. Iraq
c. Russia
d. China

4) Over a quarter of Iran’s population lives below the poverty line. (T/F)

5) The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was celebrated by Iranians. (T/F)

6) Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was considered the mastermind behind Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (T/F)


1) C

2) B

3) A

4) False

5) False

6) True


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Featured Image Credit: Tasnim News Agency / 

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