Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of Iran’s leading scientists and a pioneer in nuclear-related research, was ambushed while driving through the mountain retreat of Absard, situated nearly 100 KM east of the capital city Tehran, on Friday the 7thof November.
Dr Fakhrizadeh’s car came under a head-on attack from gunmen on motorcycles. As the motorcycles approached Dr Fakhrizadeh’s car they opened fire.
Other than nuclear related research, he was also working on inventing a vaccine for COVID-19. He was, in fact, the scientist who managed to make Coronavirus diagnostic kits which were actually dispatched to many EU countries.
It’s not proven that said scientist was assassinated by Israel. But the evidence is tangible and the motive no secret. But why now and was it worth the attempt?
If and when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the near future, if his campaign slogans are anything to go by, he might return to the Iran Nuclear deal and try to make US’s approach different to that of Trump’s and pick up talks with Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said loud and clear: “There must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement.”
What better motive for killing off Iran’s elites and military scientists, especially with America on your side.
Complex reasons for assassination
The reasoning behind the assassination of yet another prominent Iranian scientist seems pretty straightforward at first glance.
In my opinion, there were two goals behind this assassination. It is a general goal that those seeking to restrict Iran’s military industry have stepped in to turn their demands into an operational stage and thus assassinate the father of Iran’s military industry. This has been a large-scale goal. The name of Martyr Fakhrizadeh has already been mentioned by the Mossad and the CIA. The second goal was tactical. They seek to force Iran to make a rash reaction to this so-called American administration. Basically, Mr. Trump is working with Israel to make Iran do something that would make it fundamentally impossible to return to the deal, and prevent Mr. Biden from returning to the deal.
Mr. Rooyvaran, Middle-East analyst
President Trump has been using his first term’s last days to impose a new sanction a week on Iran. That is just to make it all that much harder for a possible Biden administration to return to normalcy with this country.
I think Netanyahu is trying to do a favor for president elect Biden. They know each other for many years; Netanyahu calls Biden old friend and a part of his family. …they are trying to create a setting for when Biden becomes President to have leverage against Iran.
Dr. Foad Izadi, Professor of International Studies, Tehran University
Israel is apparently aiming to help the US bring a weakened Iran to the negotiating table. But what if they get more than they’ve asked for? Because attacking a 6th scientist on Iranian soil could provoke an Iranian attack on Israel, hence inviting US intervention in the region, once again!
Iran has promised retaliation. It has retaliated in past, against the US. Israel should be a lot easier. It’s to be seen how and when Iran may decide it is prudent do so without falling into any traps.
With such moves, they try to force Iran to react. The next goal is to make Iran play into the scenario of the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia and the Hebrew-Arab faction. This will not happen, and naturally, the Islamic Republic will not set goals and actions based on the scenarios designed by the other side but will act on its own plans to achieve its goals.
Legal response to assassination
It is noteworthy that the Iranian Parliament’s first legal reaction to the assassination was to change the “strategic action for lifting of sanctions” single-urgency motion to a double-urgency motion, with an absolute majority of votes on November 29 2020, to speed up its application.
The motion had been presented earlier, and was passed on Tuesday December the first.
The motion has 9 provisions. Some important provisions are that the nuclear energy organization must produce and store 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium annually, must produce 500 kilograms of uranium at different levels of enrichment for peaceful use once a month, and must reverse the Arak reactor back to its pre-JCPOA condition.
Also, the Government is obliged to report, in 3 months from the passing of this motion, on the compliance of other parties to the JCPOA. Should results not be satisfactory, the Government must halt adherence to the additional protocol of the NPT.
Regarding this double-urgency motion, I should say that we didn’t propose it in Parliament on the spur of the moment. We had prepared it some 3 months ago, way before the assassination, as a reaction to the non-compliance of the 4+1 countries. It was approved as a single-urgency motion, then after this unfortunate occurrence, we approved it as a double-urgency motion, to expand our nuclear scientific capabilities. It is completely peaceful and in full compliance with the JCPOA’s articles 36 and 37 which state: should other parties to the deal not fulfill their commitments, we can also reduce our commitments as long as they have not returned to compliance. It is based on what those countries signed themselves.
Ms Fallahi, Parliamentary National Security Committee
The website Israel Hayom published a bold headline 29th November: “Iran’s tough year makes the world a safer place”.
It refers to the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, both recognized as martyrs in Iran. Such headlines coming from Israel sound like confessions.
Especially since in April 2018 Benjamin Netanyahu did say ‘remember this name’, referring to Fakhrizadeh, as if putting a target on the scientist’s back.
IRGC Chief, General Salami, implies the assassination happened days before the US is driven out of the region, a year from the US assassination of General Soleimani.
“Our missiles and drones are locked on 20,000 targets. Only Israel knows who and where we might aim for. The second defense or reaction plan is to destroy thousands of carriers of tanks, planes and equipment. No shot will be aimless. We warn surrounding countries: any shot from any point in your countries will be the destruction of the whole area.”
IRGC Chief, General Salami
It should be noted that the Obama administration condemned Israel’s earlier assassinations precisely because it knew the murders wouldn’t really set back Iran’s nuclear program, but would set back any efforts to negotiate a deal to curb it tremendously.
As for the nuclear deal, when Biden takes office, he would most likely have to stress that Israel will incur costs if it continues to carry out attacks in Iran. The 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal was signed between Iran and the P5+1, the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.
Iran, as a nation is not totally unified in how it views the world, but anti-US sentiment among Iranians persists and is nothing new. It’s not hatred for hatred, but started with US interference in Iran’s internal affairs. The Trump administration has in the past year reportedly run several joint sabotage operations with Israel targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israeli Intelligence aided assassination of Soleimani
In order to assassinate Iranian Genaral Ghassem Soleimani outside a Baghdad airport early in January, the US relied partly on Israeli intelligence. And earlier this month, Trump himself reportedly raised the possibility of attacking Iran with his top national-security advisers, and just last week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Arab adversaries of Iran.
This is how they have failed to overthrow the Islamic republic for the last 41 years. They thought that having Saddam attacked Iran militarily is going to finish the government here and what they actually did was to prolong the Islamic republic and make it stronger by creating so many martyrs. They don’t understand that the culture here is martyrdom and resistance.
The affect of the assassination on the Iranian nation
One of its aims was to destroy the morale of the people. As we have seen in the past, society regrets the assassination of its own scientists, and I think this creates a spirit of frustration in society. The security organizations in Iran must act quickly and identify those involved in this crime, and respond to them to compensate for this psychological impact on Iranian society.
Despite Iran possessing hundreds of scientists and sufficient institutional knowledge to carry on, regardless of any single scientist, Mr Fakhrizadeh’s importance was more symbolic than related to Iran’s present scientific programmes.
I believe that knowledge cannot be assassinated. This nuclear or missile knowledge has been localized by Iranian experts. The killing of five other nuclear experts and scientists who were martyred before the signing of the JCPOA did not stop this. The Iranians have gained domestic knowledge that can no longer be stopped.
Even were it possible to excuse Israel’s highly probable crime of state terror with the Trump administration’s acquiescence, if not complicity, there are those in Israel and the US who see the current “maximum pressure” policy of US sanctions and threats of attacks on Iran, as the only route to stop Iran from expanding its influence…whatever that may mean.
“White man speak with forked tongue”
The key point is that the USA thinks Iran can be controlled by pressure and threats. The five-year history of the JCPOA should be enough to prove that theory miserably inadequate.
The one thing that got Iran to curb its peaceful nuclear programme was the civility demonstrated in signing that very same Joint Comprehensive plan of Action or nuclear deal. In return for doing so, nuclear-related economic UN sanctions against Iran were to be lifted.
They failed to defeat Iran in the fields of hardware and military capabilities, so they opted to focus on the field of software and chose to eliminate the manifestations of Iran’s power, which are its elites and scientists, by the most violent and brutal means, namely terror and assassination. At the same time, while respect for scholars, scientists, and elites has a fundamental place in human nature, for this oppressive order, scientists are perceived as hindrances because they have the knowledge and the enemy knows that they can strengthen their nations.
If partnerships with Israel and Arab states such as Saudi Arabia are to be strategic to the US, they really should reconsider those partnerships. Because U.S. strategic partnerships should make the US more secure, not less, to take a page out of ResponsibleStateCraft.org.
Israel, the non diplomatic approach to everything
Even after the United States of America tried diplomacy, Israel pressed the Trump administration to end US participation in the JCPOA, in 2018.
This meant UN sanctions were now re-imposed and reinforced on Iran, as US sanctions. Tensions between the two states escalated, naturally.
The escalation of tensions since, have brought the US and Iran to the brink of war, twice. This so called strategic partnership seems to serve only one side, Tel Aviv.
But why on earth would the US serve Israel to the disadvantage of its own people? Simply put, it wouldn’t. It’s doubtful it would. But Israel has a firm hold on US presidents thanks to AIPAC, the powerful Jewish Lobby in America, and now it has an Arab alliance to support it at this end of the world.
The US government and Israel have a strategic alliance with each other. Sometimes America’s behavior goes in the direction that it is willing to suffer a lot of losses in order to save the Zionists. The Zionists, on the other hand, are assisting the Americans in the region. In the US strategy, its hegemonic stability is defined by ensuring Israel’s security.
Some in the US, Israel and its apparently newly allied Arabs states, accuse Iran of expanding its influence in the region. Iran has been regional heavyweight for millenia and sees itself responsible for maintaining a balance of power in its own region.
It should not be forgotten that the US is over 10.000 kilometres from this region and how Israel came into being and maintains its presence in the region.
Israel is the decades-old entity that rests on occupied Palestine, and is the only entity in West Asia known to have nuclear warheads, hundreds of them. And as for its policy of governmental terrorism, well, let’s take a look at some faces from the past decade.
2010 saw Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a Tehran University professor, assassinated in a pinpoint blast.
Also in late 2010 Majid Shahriari who was specialized in neutron transport met the same fate. Assassins riding a motorcycle planted and detonated a magnetic C4 bomb planted on his car door whilst he was driving. He was instantly killed.
Fereidoon Abbasi, his fellow nuclear scientist and professor at Shahid Beheshti University, also had a bomb attached to his car and detonated by the killers but he and his wife escaped death but were seriously wounded.
In 2011, Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down outside his Tehran apartment. He was an electrical engineering doctoral student whose work involved nuclear applications.
Wasting little time, in 2012 came Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s turn. Motorbike riders attached a magnetic bomb that tore apart a car carrying him. He was a nuclear scientist working at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz. Roshan was in fact set to attend a memorial service for Masoud Ali Mohammadi, who was killed in a similar fashion.
We have to start something in the Security Council so that we can pass a resolution condemning this assassination. This crime will accelerate the cycle of violence. We could reduce our cooperation with the Atomic Agency temporarily. We must reduce some of the commitments to save the lives of engineers and specialists. We must take steps to prevent sabotage at our nuclear and missile sites. If cooperations with the Agency are to continue, we must obtain guarantees from them. I am not a security expert, but I think such assassinations are the result of an extensive intelligence project designed and used by the enemy.
This latest assassination may, in fact, backfire since it is more than likely that, should Iran return to the negotiating table, it will return in a stronger position with more demands, not weaker.