Did the Iranian Government Assassinate its Own Nuclear Scientist?
In Baghdad and Kabul, car-bombs and suicide-attacks are a common occurrence. Government ministries, recreational centers, and hospitals are often targeted by Islamic insurgents in the hopes of rattling the population and weakening the national government. In downtown Tehran however, an assault of this magnitude is so rare that it gets people’s attention rather quickly.
Yesterday morning, an Iranian nuclear physicist by the name of Massoud Ali Mohammadi– who also happens to be an advocate of the Iranian opposition- was killed by a car-bomb in front of his home.
If Mohammadi was a common pedestrian in the wrong place at the wrong time, we would not be having this conversation. But his extensive relationship with the democratic opposition in Iran begs a certain controversial question; did the Iranian Government plan and sponsor the targeted assassination of an Iranian intellectual?
Was the Iranian Government responsible for Mohammadi’s death? I have no idea, but the fact that some mainstream news publications are even raising this question shows how obsessed Americans are with Iran.
First it was the nuclear program and Iran’s “evil” desire to build up its own nuclear capability. Then it was a belief that Tehran would actually go through with its plan of “wiping Israel of the map.” Now, we are assuming that the ayatollah’s sanctioned an official assassination of an opposition figure.
Obviously Iran has its fair share of government-sponsored violence towards the democratic opposition. The constant pictures of Iranian paramilitary guards pummeling peaceful protesters through television and twitter gives the world a graphic example of its militaristic behavior. But let’s not jump to the conclusion that the clerical leadership ordered a targeted assassination. If anything, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps would be a more realistic candidate; they have a vested interest in beating down dissent for their own political and (increasingly) commercial gains.
-Daniel R. DePetris