Assassinations Boosting Nuclear Program

Killing nuclear scientists pushes people to side with military regime


Assassinations Boosting Nuclear Program
by Omid Memarian

The suspected assassination of yet another scientist linked to Iran’s nuclear program is renewing questions over whether such attempts will slow enrichment efforts, or push Iranian leaders to more aggressively pursue their nuclear ambitions.

But how is all this playing out in Iran?

On Wednesday, a Tehran bomb blast killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who served as deputy director of commercial affairs at the Natanz nuclear facility. According to official Iranian media, a man on a motorcycle stuck a magnetic bomb to Roshan’s car as the 32-year-old was leaving his home. Two men who were accompanying Roshan were also injured in the blast. It marks the seventh attempt on the lives of Iran’s nuclear-program employees and the sixth death.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “categorically denied any U.S. involvement in any act of violence in Iran. “The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this,” stated Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Iranian officials immediately pointed the finger at the U.S. and Israel. Just two months ago, when a deadly explosion at an Iranian missile complex caused the death of a top Iran commander and 16 others, a number of analysts did not rule out the possibility of foreign involvement and sabotage.

“Today on the nuclear energy scene, [the] U.S. and Zionism have chosen the lowest methods of blind assassination of our nuclear scientists, and think that with assassinating these scientists and making them martyrs they can prevent our nuclear advancement,” Rostam Ghasemi, Iran’s oil minister and a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said Thursday. “The martyrdom of our nuclear scientists leads to further commitment of our people and scientists to the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“I think the assassination of an Iranian citizen is a blatant act of terrorism perpetuated by experts in targeted assassinations, and it has to be categorically denounced,” Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University told The Daily Beast. “These scientists are national treasures. This is an egregious act of violation of many different rights, to infiltrate into a sovereign state and to assassinate its citizens.”

“The United Nations has to intervene. Any civilized country has to intervene. And the [Israelis] claim to be the only democracy in the region?! That’s insane!,” he added.

In the U.S., killing Iranian scientists in order to slow down Iran’s nuclear program has been a strategy advocated by a number of Republican presidential candidates.

At a campaign event in October, Rick Santorum endorsed the idea. “On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has also approved of the killing of Iranian scientists. But how might it affect Iran’s nuclear program?

“I don’t believe a program on such a large scale as Iran’s nuclear program is eliminated or slowed down as a result of the elimination of some individuals,” Gholamhossein Karbaschi, the former Tehran mayor and a close ally of reformist leader Mehdi Karroubi, told The Daily Beast. “It does have a psychological effect, but it will not have an impact in the nuclear program itself. Its psychological effect is not favorable, either, as people hate the perpetrators.”

“However way you look at terror, people hate it, no matter where in the world it happens, especially if an innocent young individual suffers this fate. This is what people oppose vehemently,” Karbaschi added.

A journalist in Tehran told The Daily Beast under the condition of anonymity that he was shocked when he heard news of the assassination. “When I talk to people, they feel insulted that a foreign state would come and murder an Iranian citizen to cheers and nods from others,” he said. “These assassinations are a great gift to the Iranian government and military, who can now push their agendas forward with them. The Iranian government could not be helped any better; it can now present its nuclear program as legitimate and to cry foul.”

Mohsen Sazegara, an influential opposition figure based in Washington who has advocated civil disobedience against the Iranian government, said that although American, British, and Israeli authorities deny any involvement in these operations, Tehran considers sabotage and the assassinations acts of Western intelligence services and Israel’s Mossad. He said such incidents are very telling about Iran.

“Observing all of this, more than anything else, Iranian people see the Iranian intelligence apparatus’s weakness,” said Sazegara. “The same Intelligence Ministry and [Revolutionary Guards] that on a daily basis arrest and suppress workers, teachers, students, journalists, and different groups of the society, are incapable of protecting top-secret facilities and their employees.”

First published in

Omid Memarian is columnist whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. He was a World Peace Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 2007-2009 and the 2005 recipient of the 'Human Rights Defender Award', the highest honor bestowed by Human Rights Watch.


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Oon Yaroo

Hillary Clinton initially condemned Monica Lewinsky ...

by Oon Yaroo on

and the right ... where she should have condemned Slick Willy!

People make mistake!

iraj khan

Hillary Clinton Condemned It

by iraj khan on

U.S. Secretary of Defense condemned it 

President Obama's White House condemned it,

The head of United Nations condemned it,

National Iranian Americans Council condemned it.

Then, Who didn't condemn it?

Israel didn't condemned it,

%3 Pro War, Pro Terror on IC did not condemn it.

What does it all mean?

I'm just saying,


G. Rahmanian

Who Are The Real Warmongers!

by G. Rahmanian on

Who Are The Real Warmongers!

1. The mullahs and their armed goons who interfered in Iraq's internal affairs and openly called on Iraqis to overthrow Saddam, right after the establishment of their rule in '79!

2. Those who continued the war with Iraq for eight long years only to suppress the opposition forces and consolidate their murderous rule! 

3. Those who were/are talking about liberating Jerusalem!

4. Those Islamists who are dreaming of exporting their revolution!

5. Those mullahs and their armed goons who want to manage the world!

6. Those IR officials who have been talking about and trying to acquire nuclear weapons for decades!

7. Those IR leaders who want to wipe another sovereign state off the face of the earth! 

8. Those IR mullahs and armed goons who have financed and orchestrated countless terrorist acts throughout the world against Iranians and foreigners!

9. Those who have forced millions of Iranians into exile! 

10. Those who attack foreign embassies instead of simply telling their diplomats to leave! 

11. The IR criminals whose hostage-taking habits never seem to die!

12. The Cyber Mercenaries who staunchly promote regime's warmongering policies under different names!


Well Said G.R.

by IranFirst on

Dear G.R I agree. Well said. Knowing Terrorist IRI, this is most probably an inside job by an isolated IRI, to gain some sympathy and blame the ouside world, again.

G. Rahmanian

Before I Sympathize With Anything Or Ayone!

by G. Rahmanian on

Before I sympathize with anyone or anything I always ask these questions:

What am I doing on this site? Why are millions of Iranians living in exile? Why was there a revolution? Why did the Islamist revolutionaries go after every decent Iranian? Why was there a war? Why did we have to lose so many dear ones so a bunch of murderers could stay in power? Why are Islamist murderers still ruling my country, after 33 years? Who is number one enemy of Iran and Iranians? Who are the real warmongers when it comes to Iran? Why are 70 million Iranians being held hostage to the ambitions of the Islamists who want to export their revolution? Who are the real fearmongers? Who has turned Iran into a hellhole for Iranians back home? Whose economic policies have sent more than half of Iran's population under the poverty line? 

And by the time I'm done answering these and many other questions, I'm so exhausted I don't want to think about Iran's imaginary enemies fabricated by regime's propaganda apparatus! 

G. Rahmanian

Dear IranFirst!

by G. Rahmanian on

It is common knowledge that IR's Cyber Mercenaries call every genuine Iranian with genuine love for Iran and genuine hatred for the regime in Tehran, warmongers! Their sympathy for the scientist in question is only a coverup for their staunch support of the ruling mullahs and their armed goons!


G.R., Cyber Basij Souls are very cheap

by IranFirst on

Dear G.R.

Cyber Basij price is only $7/hr (and droping as rial goes down)


Low Prices, Low intelligence

G. Rahmanian

To IR's Cyber Army Mercenaries!

by G. Rahmanian on

What you really want from the opposition forces is not their sympathy. It is their silence with regards to your masters' killings of Iranians and pillaging the state's coffers, so you can live your miserable life on the monthly handouts you receive for your services.

Be ambitious! Ask for a bit more than little bits of handouts.

And do you know how I can tell you're living off handouts? Your staunchness in defending your criminal masters betrays you!


Typical Reponse

by jirandoust on

Typical Reponse from a KBW. The minute they hear an anti-war comment on this site, the commenter is either IR apologist or IR ciber army or some crap like that.

War is not the answer for Iran. Any changes in Iran must come from within. Any meddeling from outside will empower this regime, not the other way around. Killing a scientist is a cowerdly act which will be played into IR hands.  It must be condemned!


G. Rahmanian

"RastgooIs" Is The Same Entity

by G. Rahmanian on

"Rastgoo" Is The Same Entity who claims Ahmadinejad never said Israel should be wiped off the map of the world. And when I posted Ahmadinejad's quote, he/she was nowhere to be found! That is a tactic commonly used by IR's Cyber Army guerrilla warriors on this site!


Finally Rastgoo, you "rast gofti" in one tiny little part of

by Onlyiran on

your comment.  Here, in this part:

 Every reader of history of any country at any period of time can readily note that in times of crisis when there is foreign intervention at hand people will rally around the flag.  

That's why the IRI has been trying to start the war, especially since it has noticed power slipping away from it.  The biggest warmonger on this planet is the IRI.  And they're the people who have no regard for the Iranian people.  In fact, I took the liberty of correcting your other comment.  Hope you don't mind.  Here it is:

 The problem is that the [IRI is made up of] uncompassionate people with superiority complexes (commonly known as chicken hawks).  They feel and think that they're better than the poor destitute people in that cursed land [that they have been controlling by brute force].  They are a privileged and spoiled bunch that have no empathy for the "real people".  To them they are just like pawns that may have to be sacrificed for the end to be realized.  The end justifies the means for them and sadly they are [all hezbollahis].   

Also, on the issue of IRI warmongering, you may be interested in this:


G. Rahmanian

IR Cyber Army Members!

by G. Rahmanian on

IR Cyber Army Members On IC Label All Iranians Who Oppose The Murderous Regime For Its Totalitarian Rule As Warmongers!

This scientist was a member of the ruthless Basij Militias that has made life miserable for the majority of Iranians. His assassination is the result of IR's internal factionalist war that started with the advent of Islamists to power!

IR Cyber Army members on this site who do not hide their euphoria when the Basij militias mutilate, rape and kill Iranians are now hypocritically attacking opposition forces for their lack of sympathy. What a joke!!!

iraj khan


by iraj khan on

The %3 Pro War / Pro Terror is defending this act of terrorism.

It only shows the depth of their despair and their alienation from Iranians inside and outside of Iran.  

Oon Yaroo

The real reason behind Iranian's lack of sympathy and heart-felt

by Oon Yaroo on

...sorrow for this incident is because he was a symbol of an evil institution called IRR Basiji.

This guy could have been the 2nd Albert Einstein and discovered the cure to cancer and as a member of Basiji Iranians would have still despised him!

On the other hand, this guy could have been a roto-rooter but an anti-IRR and then Iranians would have loved him!

If you want to be loved by Iranians then stay on their side.

If you want to be hated by Iranians then stay on the IRR side.

The choice is yours!



by jirandoust on

Alhagh ke rast gofti, Rastgoo!!!

I have a name for the war mongers and chicken hawks on this site. I call them KBW (Key Board Warriors). They are tough warriors only when sitting in their warm homes in western countries and push for war with Iran. They have no compassion for ordinary Iranian citzens who willbe the true victims of the war, not to mention the devistations on Iranian cities.

Funny thing is that there is a live example next door to Iran. You should be a fool not to take lessons from the invasion of Iraq and the devastations it has brought to Iraqis.


He Was a Scientist

by jirandoust on

Anyone who is not upset by this Iranian scientist's death and does not condemn this cowardly act of terorism, shouls have their heads examined.

He was a SCIENTIST for gods sake, I don't care if he was a Basigi or Sepah or even a turbaned mulla.

And people do rally around the flag (central government) when invaded, regardless of some people's wishful thinking on this site!!


Iraj Khan

by Rastgoo on

The problem is that the war mongers on this site are uncompassionate people with superiority complexes (commonly known as chicken hawks).  They feel and think that they're better than the poor destitute people in that cursed land.  They are a privileged and spoiled bunch that have no empathy for the "real people".  To them they are just like pawns that may have to be sacrificed for the end to be realized.  The end justifies the means for them and sadly they are mostly shahollahis.   

iraj khan


by iraj khan on

Good News for the %3 Pro Terror, Pro War individauls on IC:

" A furious explosion erupted among a group of Shiite pilgrims Saturday morning near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing 53 in the latest attack against large groups of Shiites making annual treks to holy shrines, security officials said.

Lt. Col. Jassim Lefta, a provincial police official, said the explosion was triggered by a suicide bomber who arrived disguised in a military uniform. Among those killed were eight women and three children, he said."


And Bad News for the Rest of Humanity.


Not rallying around the flag

by AMIR1973 on

Did Argentines do it after the Falklands war? Did Serbians do it after the NATO bombings? Libyans? Russians during WW1? There are many examples of nations becoming fed up with their regimes as a result of external pressures and NOT rallying around the flag.

Darius Kadivar

It's Not "our" Flag to rally behind ...

by Darius Kadivar on

It's Yours Maybe ... 


Not Mine !

This one is including the anthem: 

Imperial Iranian national anthem (pahlavi dynasty) 

besides as far as "patriotism" is concerned  we have no lesson to receive from Jomhurykhahs:

REZA's CALL: "Don't Bomb My Country" say's Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi 

so as the French would say:

"A Chacun Sa Merde !"



"A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death"-Saul Bellow.



A Fact

by amirkabear4u on

is no matter what happens those who intend to do this have an excuse.

If world economy improves, components get cheap so IRI says this is the best time to do it because god wants them to do it.

If there is an earthquick, they say having atomic energy makes them being noticed more.

If price of oil increases they say it is the best time for it because god is helping them.

It all comes to a few issues. They have to do it and god is with them. How can you argue with them?


Unite behind the flag

by Rastgoo on

Every reader of history of any country at any period of time can readily note that in times of crisis when there is foreign intervention at hand people will rally around the flag.  Those of you who are waiting for regime change with American bombs or Israeli terror of scientists are both complicit in these murderous acts and ignorant of history.  These murderous acts only lengthen the life of the regime.  Just like the Iraq war breathed life into the regime.  How can any person with the slightest amount of compassion not become outraged at the dehumanization that is involved with the killing of Iranian scientists and the f$&king Israeli politicians' comments of how wonderful it is!  This is an outrage.


Each of the Khoneinist factions in IRI has its own journalists

by AMIR1973 on

Memarian belongs to the Khatami-Moussavi et al. clique of Khomeinist "reformists" and his views should be seen to express the opinions of that clique

G. Rahmanian

Khomeini Was More Realistic!

by G. Rahmanian on

Khomeini Was More Realislic than the folks here on IC! His letter to end the war is a must read for the "Kasseh haayeh daaghtar az sash!" Draft dodging and desertion were rampant towards the end of the war. People realized while their children were getting killed, mullahs' sons and daughters were not! It finally dawned on them that war was a way of survival for the regime. And now, after more than 23 years, these people are claiming Iranians will send their children to fight for the murderous regime!


 Dear RG:  The fault

by vildemose on

 Dear RG:

 The fault of the scientist'­s death lies on bearded Neo-Nazis running the country.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

G. Rahmanian

Dear Vildemose: Thanks For The News Article!

by G. Rahmanian on

But for some folks on IC, "All the chickens are one-legged!" To them the whole Iranian issue is like a guessing game. And they can't even put two and two together!!!


Cousin Farmarz: Two of those three things you know…

by Bavafa on

Which one can say with a fair sense of confidence, makes this a terrorist act regardless of who carried it or who the victim was.  Now, as you have noted, I don’t make a habit of passing  judgment about guilt/innocence or responsibility when I obviously have no credible information,  but I do condemn ALL act of violence and terrorism regardless of who carries it and this is no exception.


Also regarding Saddam and how he became the darling of the reform-minded folks, there is another way of looking at this if one chooses to.  Is it possible that they deplore what took place in Iraq and by extension to Saddam because it was done in such illegal and criminal way which also resulted in many hundreds and thousands of innocent lives?   Is it his death that they object to or the way it was carried out.  Incidentally, he was never held accountable for his criminal action against Iranians and that is deplorable for me.

  You might remember, I fought in that war and lost a number of good friends as a result and can hardly consider myself reform-minded yet curse what GWB and company did to Iraq and Iraqis.   



Anahid jaan:  I don’t have any data to back my claim, but my personal experience attest to a great contempt for the regime by masses prior and during the war.  Perhaps the number of political prisoners that were criminally murdered by the regime can be a guide to know the general feeling of people for the regime at the time.


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


G. Rahmanian

Knowledgeable People?

by G. Rahmanian on

I heard a rumor all the decent journalists were in jail.

Anyhow, you hate the regime. You are walking down a street in Tehran or any major city in Iran. A person you don't know, but claims to be a journalist, approaches you and asks you what you think of the regime. Are YOU going to say you hate the regime?

Khomeini, in his letter which ended the Iran-Iraq war wrote, Iranians are not showing any interest in going to war (showghe raftaneh beh jebheyeh jang raa nadaarand!). That was euphemism for Iranian draft dodgers and deserters. And that was more than years ago, when the poor Iranians still believed in the Islam of the modern-day Shi'ite "saints."

Things have changed, since. Average Iranians have become more knowledgeable about the regime's warmongering policies. They have had enough of regime's officials' empty slogans promising them better living conditions while stashing away billions of dollars in their bank accounts abroad. And they have seen regime's brutalities against their own compatriots and learned the regime's goons would kill an Iranian as readily as they would an enemy, only to stay in power. And Iranians have increasingly proven to the world how much they hate the regime in Tehran since the day the mullahs "hijacked" the revolution.

So, Iranians siding with the regime in case of a war is only a myth. If the regime were so popular, why would the mullahs and the militarists in power want to have a war?


"فرد ترور شده


"فرد ترور شده منتقد ادامۀ برنامۀ هسته ای ایران بود"


کارمندان سابق وزارت خارجه ایران: "فرد ترور شده منتقد ادامه برنامه هسته ای ایران به قیمت فقر عمومی، تحریم و تحمیل جنگ بود"

کمپین سفارت سبز در بیانیه ای که پنجشنبه 12-1-2011 منتشر کرده، خاطر نشان کرده است: " گزارش و اطلاعات واصله به کمپین، مستند به اسناد مثبته از حادثه ترور معاون بازرگانی تاسیسات هسته ای نطنز، حاکی است که زنده یاد مصطفی احمدی روشن ، منتقد ادامه برنامه هسته ای رژیم بشکل فعلی و به قیمت فقر عمومی ، تورم و گرانی، تحریم و تحمیل جنگی دیگر به ملت ایران بود."



 A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

I agree about the occasional informationless Iran analysis on IC. Fortunately we also get articles of Memarian's caliber.

Long before the 2009 elections heat up, Memarian was the first person to inform me that the presidential elections were going to be a huge deal. He struck gold with that prediction. He knew because he kept close tabs on the situation and asessed the information as a disciplined journalist.  He said that Iranians living in Iran saw a palpable difference between a conservative administration and a reformist one as far as their daily lives were concerned.

We in the diaspora can afford to interpret Iran news on the plane of ideals, whereas Iran residents actually experience the events, their ideals being only one variable among many factor in understanding their attitudes.

As a recent example, The House of Cinema closure would be less likely to happen during a reformist administration. This would seem trivial to a diasporan compared to the executions that happened in the Khomeini era when Mousavi was prime minister. But to an Iran resident gasping for any breath of freedom the prioritiy calculations are more complex. To be sure, this is a sad state of affairs, but an honest analyst doesn't ignore observed facts beacuse they make him/her sad..or angry, or nostalgic for happier times.