Max Baucus: Israel’s Assassination of Iran’s Nuclear Mastermind Is Evidence of ‘Nefarious Ulterior Motive’

November 30, 2020

Following the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Barack Obama's former China ambassador Max Baucus on Monday accused Israel of having "nefarious" motives in the Middle East.

On Fox News's Bill Hemmer Reports, Baucus said Israel likely assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in order to sabotage President-elect Joe Biden's ability to reenter the Iran Nuclear Deal, which President Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018.

"[Israel's] nefarious ulterior motive is to complicate matters in the Mideast and make things difficult for Biden to try to reenter the Iran nuclear accord," Baucus said.

Baucus, a former Montana senator who endorsed Biden for president, served as ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017. After Trump took office, Baucus drew attention for giving interviews on Chinese propaganda networks in which he praised China and compared Trump to Hitler.

On Monday Baucus also downplayed the importance of the landmark peace deals between Israel and Arab states over the past six months, which Israel's critics in the Obama administration had declared impossible unless Israel made peace with the Palestinians.

"[The peace deals] did not include the Palestinians, and the Palestinians are going to have to be included in some kind of resolution that has any chance of being durable and peaceful in the long run," Baucus said.

Israel has not released an official statement on Fakhrizadeh's death last Friday, while Iranian state media accounts have been contradictory. Initially, authorities said that the death involved a truck exploding and the exchange of gunfire between assailants and Fakhrizadeh's bodyguards, but the story changed to include remote-controlled weapons.