Iranian nuclear scientist's killing will make negotiating deal with Tehran 'much more challenging' for Biden, Navy admiral says

Tim O'Donnell

Retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press that the assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh will make it "much more challenging" for President-elect Joe Biden to re-enter or renegotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran once he's in office.

The task already appeared difficult, especially with Iran's own presidential elections looming, but Fakhrizadeh "was at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program and has been for years," Mullen said. He was "not only the brains, but also the passion behind it, so his assassination is really a significant event."

It's unclear who was behind the assassination, but Iran has accused Israel of orchestrating the attack and at least hinted that they believe the Trump administration was aware it would be carried out. Either way, as Mullen noted, tensions appear to be on the rise again. But he did add that he's "hopeful" Biden will be able to find some sort of middle ground.

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