Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks during a virtual media briefing, four days after the targeted killing of Fakhrizadeh near Tehran by assailants with suspected links to Israel.
Following the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, Khatibzadeh said, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, among others, condemned the terrorist incident in telephone conversations and offered their condolences, according to Press TV.
“Regarding Dr. Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom, we received a torrent of condemnations from countries in different parts of the region. In the Persian Gulf, all states but one condemned [the assassination], while some denounced it using harsh rhetoric,” he added.
In a veiled reference to Saudi Arabia, the spokesman called on the single country that refused to take a stance against the assassination to reconsider its policies.
Referring to calls by some states for “restraint” on the part of Iran following the terror attack, he said, “They can say whatever they want.... Iran will deliver a proportionate, independent response that will [inflict] maximum pain on those who ordered and perpetrated [the crime].”
“Of course, as [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif tweeted, self-proclaimed advocates of human rights were expected to condemn [the assassination] more strongly, but part of the story went back to their own policies. These countries, which could not refrain from condemning this terrorist act, called for restraint, a term that does not meet our expectations.”
Zarif in a post on his Twitter account held Israel accountable for the assassination, according to Khatibzadeh.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN submitted a letter to the world body’s chief and Tehran’s envoys informed their host countries of the details of the assassination.
“This path will continue and we seek the responsibility of the other side,” he underlined. "We think it is one of the best campaigns that can further isolate the occupying Israeli regime."
Several countries on Monday slammed the assassination, with Russia expressing “serious concern over the provocative nature of this terrorist act.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the killing was “clearly aimed at destabilizing the situation and building up conflict potential in the region,” according to Reuters.
The French Foreign Ministry called for restraint to avoid "an escalation of tensions."
“We have learned of the attack that claimed the life of Mr. Fakhrizadeh with concern. In a tense regional context, we are closely monitoring its repercussions in Iran and in the region,” a spokesperson said.
“We call for restraint to preserve the channels of dialogue and negotiation. In this context, we reiterate our calls to avoid an escalation of tensions,” he added.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the targeted killing and “called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid the region drifting to new levels of instability and threatening peace.”
The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said all parties need “to exercise the greatest degrees of self-restraint to avoid the slide toward the worst scenario in the region”.