TERRORISM IN TEHRAN January 12, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Terrorism Issues.
How then is the war on terrorism working out, especially now since it is the “unpeople” who seem to be the victims?
Scott Shane in The NY Times reports it has ceased to be a war, and merely a campaign implicitly waged by “proxies” which allows deniability, if not moral condemnation. In an article entitled, “Adversaries of Iran stepping up covert activities”, he reports:
As arguments flare in Israel and the United States about a possible military strike to set back Iran’s nuclear program, an accelerating covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyberattacks and defections appears intended to make that debate irrelevant, according to current and former American officials and specialists on Iran.
The campaign, which experts believe is being carried out mainly by Israel, apparently claimed its latest victim on Wednesday when a bomb killed a 32-year-old nuclear scientist in Tehran’s morning rush hour.
The scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, was a department supervisor at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, a participant in what Western leaders believe is Iran’s halting but determined progress toward a nuclear weapon. He was at least the fifth scientist with nuclear connections to be killed since 2007; a sixth scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi, survived a 2010 attack and was put in charge of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
The article featured at the top of the page the motor vehicle that Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was riding when killed. So commiserations to the car. Here is the victim in a photograph with his young son:
US officials, including the Secretary of State, strongly disavowed any involvement in his murder. If they did not fully condemn his murder,one has to wonder why.
Anne Barker for the ABC reports:
The murder of an Iranian nuclear scientist during Tehran’s morning rush hour is set to add to growing tensions between Iran and the West.
In the fifth daylight attack on technical experts, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was blown up when two men on a motorbike attached a magnetised bomb to his car as he drove to work.
The 32-year-old chemistry expert was a chemistry lecturer at a university in northern Tehran, and according to state television, he was also a director at Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.
The bomb was similar to those used to kill other scientists, and Iran is pointing the finger at Israel’s spy agency Mossad.
Israel never confirms or denies such accusations, but army spokesman Yoav Mordechai wrote on Facebook: “I don’t know who settled the score with the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding any tears.”
On Tuesday, Israeli armed forces chief Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz was quoted as telling members of parliament: “For Iran, 2012 is a critical year in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community, and things which take place in an unnatural manner.”
Professor Roshan was on his way to work when two men on a motorcycle reportedly pulled alongside and attached a magnetic bomb to his car, then sped away as it blew up, killing the scientist and one other person.
The ” one other person” is unnamed.
Juan Cole is a Farsi speaker and calls the dead scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast. So it would seem the reports above cannot even get his name right. Professor Cole notes:
The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions (i.e. illegal assassinations) told Reuters that the attacks on nuclear scientists were indeed worrying, extrajudicial, and executions.
But Christof Heyns, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said in a statement to Reuters the Wednesday assassination seemed to reflect a “worrying trend of extrajudicial executions of nuclear scientists in Iran.” But he put the onus on Iranian authorities to solve the murder mystery.
Iran wants the UN General Assembly to condemn the bombings. The UNGA unanimously condemned Iran for an alleged plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador in Washington, though the evidence for that scheme was extremely weak. As Reuters points out, diplomats are particularly upset by assassination plots against . . . diplomats.
Considering motive, means and opportunity, Juan Cole speculates on who the likely murders may be linked with:
The circumstantial evidence would point to a member of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK or People’s Jihadis) terrorist organization. The MEK is known to have been involved in espionage on the Iranian nuclear program, and it wants to overthrow the current government in favor of a Marxist-Islamic regime, working with Israeli intelligence. Mossad does targeted assassinations, as in Dubai. The MEK has a history of pulling off bombings in Iran. One, in 1981, killed over 80 members of the revolution’s political elite, including the prime minister. The MEK is based in part in Iraq and so could acquire sticky bombs easily. It is known to have an operational alliance with Israeli and American intelligence. And that this bombing occurred on an anniversary of a previous one also suggests a terrorist group for which the date is symbolic.
Speaking at the time when the American drone was downed, Dennis Kucinich makes the Iran and the rest of the world for that matter might be better off developing non-nuclear alternatives to fossil-fuel energy.
New Year’s Day was a Sunday and the Christians of Isfahan when to church. It would the religious police know the difference and allow these women to show their hair beneath their veils:
We will have to hope, against experience elsewhere, that Iran will be different and that the Christian religious minority will not be used as scapegoats for the external pressure and terrorism.
(Photos were sourced at War in Context).
Robert Wright in The Atlantic is sceptical that the purpose of these murders, which without substantial evidence are blamed on Israel as part of a campaign of terror to draw Iran into a war and get support from the US. He writes:
Personally, I don’t find the Israeli assassinations as perplexing as [Jeffrey] Goldberg seems to. Though bomb-building knowledge per se can’t be extinguished by killing a few scientists, talent is always a scarce commodity, and removing key talent from any enterprise can set it back significantly. So I don’t think Israel is assassinating scientists just to draw America into a war. But it wouldn’t surprise me if, from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s point of view, that prospect isn’t exactly a deterrent.
Eric Margoylis is interviewed on RT saying he thinks these incidents could lead to war.
Ron Ben-Yishai argues the case that implicitly that murder is acceptable as means to secure the State, and after all the Iranians are alleged to have engaged in the same practice. So “whatever it takes”.