On Monday, all three network morning shows mourned the death of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, fearing that his killing would make it harder for the incoming Biden administration to appease the brutal authoritarian regime. Hosts and correspondents worried that the event would place Joe Biden in a “very awkward position” while trying to reimplement the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
At the top of NBC’s Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie warned of “tensions high” as “a funeral held for Iran’s top nuclear scientist assassinated in a targeted hit.” She touted how the dictatorship was “now vowing revenge and to carry on his work.” In a report minutes later, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel sorrowfully noted: “As Iran buried its top nuclear scientist this morning, assassinated in his car last Friday by a hit team outside Tehran last Friday, there are vows for revenge and claims the weapons, including a remotely-operated machine gun, came from Israel.”
Engel fretted over the possibility that the U.S. may have provided intel for the attack: “U.S. and Israeli intelligence work closely together and just last week, media reports in both countries, unconfirmed by NBC News, said the U.S. and Israel were planning covert actions against Iran before the Trump administration runs out.”
Moments later, the reporter revealed his true concern – that Biden’s Iran-appeasing agenda might be upended: “As new concerns are on the rise about what Trump will do in his final days as commander-in-chief, at the very least, the assassination makes President-Elect Biden’s goal of reviving negotiations with Iran much harder.”
“This assassination has inflamed an already tense situation in the Middle East, with concerns growing over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and the 2015 deal all but dead,” foreign correspondent James Longman lamented during a report for ABC’s Good Morning America. Like Engel, he turned to the staged mourners in Tehran: “And the response growing, Iranian TV with a highly-produced broadcast of the physicist’s funeral. Anger and sadness on full display. Chants of ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel.’”
He complained that Biden’s plans would suffer: “All this further compromising the already weakened Iran nuclear deal from which President Trump withdrew....It does, though, put the incoming Biden administration into a very awkward position.”
Heaven forbid Biden be put in an “awkward position” by not getting everything he wants, despite not actually being president yet.
On CBS This Morning, co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King sympathized with the Democratic President-Elect:
The President-Elect also will get the presidential daily intelligence briefing starting today, that’ll be the first time since his election. It comes at a very tense moment right after Iran’s top nuclear scientist was apparently assassinated over the weekend. Holly Williams looks at the challenges the Biden administration will face in the Middle East.
Correspondent Holly Williams added: “There’s been an outpouring of grief in Iran for nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, gunned down in an ambush last week....hopes in Iran that President-Elect Biden will rejoin a deal that gives Iran sanctions relief in return for restrictions on its nuclear activities.”
The leftist media are so committed to Biden’s agenda that anything that could possibly upset that, including the death of one of America’s enemies, is portrayed as a setback.
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Here is a full transcript of Engel’s November 30 report on NBC’s Today show:
7:13 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We turn now to a hot spot on the world stage, Iran. That country now vowing to exact revenge after the assassination of the scientist who masterminded its nuclear program. NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel joins us with the very latest on that. Richard, good morning.
RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Savannah. An official from Iran’s national security council said this scientist knew that he was a target for assassination, that his security had been increased, but that the assassins used professional and sophisticated new means and were ultimately successful.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Tensions High After Iran Scientist Assassination; Nation Vows Revenge After Nuclear Expert Killed in Targeted Attack]
As Iran buried its top nuclear scientist this morning, assassinated in his car last Friday by a hit team outside Tehran last Friday, there are vows for revenge and claims the weapons, including a remotely-operated machine gun, came from Israel. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said his nation would respond to this criminal action at the right time. The Supreme Leader said punishment would be “definitive,” but gave no details. While Israel has said nothing, the scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has long been at the top of the Mossad’s hit list. Israel considering him to be the country’s Oppenheimer, working to build nuclear weapons, a goal Iran denies. Israel’s Prime Minister singled out Fakhrizadeh two years ago.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.
ENGEL: Former chairman of the joint chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, saying this on Meet the Press.
MIKE MULLEN: Fakhrizadeh was at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program and has been for years, not only the brains but also the passion behind it. So his assassination is really a significant event.
ENGEL: U.S. and Israeli intelligence work closely together and just last week, media reports in both countries, unconfirmed by NBC News, said the U.S. and Israel were planning covert actions against Iran before the Trump administration runs out.
MULLEN: I’m very concerned about the Trump loyalists who have now gone to work in the Pentagon. It’s pretty difficult to think that over the course of 50 or 60 days you can do something constructive, but you can do something that’s really destructive.
ENGEL: As new concerns are on the rise about what Trump will do in his final days as commander-in-chief, at the very least, the assassination makes President-Elect Biden’s goal of reviving negotiations with Iran much harder.
MULLEN: I’m hopeful that President-Elect Biden can actually reach in and calm the waters, but I think this heightens tensions significantly.
ENGEL: Savannah, media reports in Iran say that the assassins used that remotely-operated machine gun, which was hidden in the back of a pick-up truck. Savannah?
GUTHRIE: Alright, Richard Engel, thank you very much.