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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I let others decide who is whom and what

by Mammad on

But, I believe it is you who avoided addressing the issues.

Thank you for the "good debate."


iraj khan


by iraj khan on

good news for the %3 Pro Terror, Pro War, The Usual Suspects on IC, as reported today:

"Up to 60 Iraqis were killed and about 140 others were wounded in a suicide bomb attack targeting Shiite pilgrims as hundreds of thousands of Shiites undertook a pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala.

The attack occurred at about 9:00 AM local time when a suicide bomber detonated an IED (improvised explosive device) he wore under his jacket near a police checkpoint among a crowd of Shiite pilgrims marching to a shrine in the town of al-Zubair, southwest of the oil hub city of Basra."


And a sad day for the rest of humanity.

Oon Yaroo

Faramarz, If one day you as the president of Iran choose me as

by Oon Yaroo on

your minster of Iranian Intelligence Services (IIS) I'll make sure that all the members of the IRR regime stand trial with due process and due guilty verdict before I order their execution by the firing squad!

I'll hire Bahram G. as my legal counsel! How about that?


Save your defence of Mousavi for the court Mr Sahimi

by anglophile on

This is not science Mr Sahimi and you are not a scientist but an engineer of sorts - used to making "acceptable errors"! Your arrogance is now bordering farsical. You speak as if the you ar deriving Darcy's law from Navier-Stokes rquations!! This is not about flow through porous media and your engineering estimations are best kept for PTE 463L.    You speak if your knwoledge of the IRI command and control structure as if you have helped set  them up yourself. Even your old pal and good friend Mohsen Sazegara is not prepared to make such claims.  Please Mammad! You may make such bogus claims to the uninformed American press, to get an interview here and there plus the fees, or to the not so sophisticated political analysts to get an invite to the LA's equivalent of Meykadeh avenie,  but to us, to your Iranian compatriots? who know you and know the IRI inside out? No Sahimi you are not tenth an informed, if any at all, as Alireza Nourizadeh or Akabr Ganji. not to mention Mohsen Sazegara. Your gradiose delusions are now reaching critical level and the sooner your do something about them the better - for yourself and those poor students whose "research" you supervise.   The IRI's structure is much more permeable than your porous media Mr Sahimi. How do I know? I can see you handwaving LOL.    BTW, you avoided the questions you were asked both in this blog and in the "my family pain" blog. As your former president said: You may run but you cannot hide!         

G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

Are you in clothing business?

G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

Before going around seconding others, please go back and read the comments and see who wrote what. I wrote the first comment on this thread and Faramaz wrote the second. Self-pitying is what some people do here when they can't offer a decent argument/counterargument.


Reduce 'n' Seduce!

by Faramarz on

That's my motto!

Tiger Lily

Perpermizi ;)))! and G.R. ewwwaaaawww

by Tiger Lily on

call me a cliche but I'm going to get my gear together. Ewwwaaaw.Perfect uncover-up.



Tiger Lily

Mammad, I'm actually trying to help you out

by Tiger Lily on

I don't actually like waffle and messy thinking at all.

That doesn't mean however, that I don't take the time to go through the mess and waffle to see the sense in it, if any, because I lack the conviction of seeing some sense in some heartfelt ( at times justifiable) emotions. 


the reason that it is imperative that everybody reads anything about political theory is that it is in the highest interest of any nation, especially one like Iran, which is often in turmoil, for a by far greater future, that it deserves.


P.S. Why write articles on politics when you haven't got a clue? 'Political Science and in particular Political Anthropology' is my 11th field! It's freaky to me.

Surely, it's your duty to inform yourself? (Don't want to get into a slanging match, but you see, Fred, knows his inside out, as well as all the tricks in the book on arguing.)

G. Rahmanian

The Dumb Demagogue!

by G. Rahmanian on

The Dumb Demagogue is back with his ordinal numbers, sounding like a broken record, again! Dropping names and vouching for IR criminals as if he has spent years with them. Or perhaps he has, after all!



by Mammad on

First, I am not after "buying" or "receiving" favor. I am here to express my opinion. I know that there are many people who read what I say and have told me repeatedly through their private e-mails that I should not quit IC. I will not, even though no one is attacked here by the usual suspects that me. But, hey, as I always say, participating in a political debate is not the same as taking part in a popularity contest, and I am also not a member of the "party of wind."

Second, if you read my last comment that I just posted, you will see my response regarding Mousavi. That is what I believe.

Third, Mousavi came up because someone kept calling me Mousavite. I was focused on the blog's issue, until that person and a couple of the usual suspects injected that in.

Fourth, guilty as charged,. I know nothing about political theory; never claimed to otherwise; just expressing my opinion. Given that you say you appreciate many of my comments, I can only conclude that you too like total waffl!




by Mammad on

First of all, it is interesting to see that someone who hides behind a bogus name calls me by my last name. Is that your way of saying "you know"? Anyone who cares to know my last names does already! So, what is the point?

Of course, it is not surprising to see this, because when someone has the audacity to tell me that I have not felt deeply enough the loss of my loved ones at the hands of the VF regime - a purely personal matter - and links the depth of my pain to his own ideology - that is, for me to show the depth of my pain I must satisfy your ideological view by "repenting" - he/she can also exhibit such knowledge!

Second, you misunderstood my comment, sir/madam. By "public court" I meant "public court of opinion," particularly a terrible one that exists here on this website, where a few loudmouths pretend to represent the "great majority of Iranian people" - to use a phrase used by one of these self-righteous "representatives" of the Iranian people - and are not able to make contributions to a good debate.

Third, I have always said that all the leaders in the 1980s are responsible for the execution of the political perisoners. But, the responsibility is of two types, according to the standard laws since WW II: a moral responsibility and an executive responsibility. Every leader of that decade, including Mousavi, has moral responsibility. The difference is that there is no evidence that Mousavi, having the moral responsibility, also had executive responsibility, until proven otherwise.

Fourth, unlike you and many others here, I do know the power hierarchy in the the IRI and VF regime - my long track record of writing on Iran speaks for itself - you do not, as much as you may want to claim otherwise.

Just nine months ago, we saw the big raw between Khamenei and AN over the Minister of Intelligence; in August 2009 we saw the same. In 1997 we saw the same. In 1993 we saw the same. Same thing with the judiciary. These organs have always been controlled by the Faghih, whether Khomeini or Khamenei, not by the PM or the "president."

After Mousavi was put under house arrest last year, people who opposed him but worked with him in the 1980s, made interesting and revealing observations. One, Mohsend Rafighdoost, who was Mousavi's cabinet minister said, for example, that he often did things on his own during the Iran-Iraq war, and Mousavi learned about them later on. There have been just too many of such revelations.

And, distinguished journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amooee, who has been in jail since 2009, has said many times that Mousavi was opposed to continuation of war and harsh treatment of prisoners [except when they took up arms and killed people]. If Amooee, a good and progressive journalist, says that, who am I to doubt it?

So, I suggest that you do some extensive reading on this - not reading of the comments of the usual suspects here that represent "the great majority of Iranian people" - but scholarly books and articles, before commenting on such things. Of course, one can always cast doubt on anything - like you saying "how do you know" - but that is not the way to counter an opinion, in my view. In science we call this hand waving, if that!


G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

Calling someone an agent maybe harsh on him/her if he/she is not! But for those who are, they proudly wear the badge of honor. For some it's their livelihood. This site cannot verify people's real identities. It does not need to. Years ago, I was accused of being one, myself. The accuser left the site the following day. He resurfaced later, under a different name.


Agent Lily!

by Faramarz on

I had a good laugh about this one!

Let's see secret agent, double agent, real estate agent, sleeper agent, customs agent, free agent, literary agent or travel agent!

I think you are more like Agent 99 on Get Smart!

Tiger Lily

Mammad, you don't do yourself any favours

by Tiger Lily on

Mousavi as a PRIME MINISTER, should have been and WAS aware of executions. Basta! I won't read anymore drivel on that.

You are not doing yourself any favours. 

His exact crimes and sentencing are indeed for a court to decide.  That is what due process of law is about, but before the process of law there has to be a case of prosecution.


Anyway, what the hell does that have to do anything with this blog? And I'm actually in favour of what you have otherwise stated, pertaining to this particular blog, in general, not the waffle.

P.S. Also seconding Souri and Bavafa. (Been saying it for ages...Btw, it's that savagery which is keeping thousands out of the millions in diaspora away from commenting on this site....)


P.P.S. Mammad, I actually appreciate a lot of your input, but I have a
problem with your stance fundamentally and that is: it is very obvious
to me that you have very little knowledge in political theory, which
might be the reason why it sounds so much like total waffl, rather than
substantiated and logical, but then I try to correct myself thinking
that that might be the general status quo or something else.


Tiger Lily

G.Rahmanian. Paid agents on IC

by Tiger Lily on

Do you really honestly, cross your heart and hope to die on mould and damp, believe, that as pathetically nontransparent this site is, that it would allow 'agents' of any sort on this site? 


Honestly, one of the reasons I won't believe a word of it, is because I myself have been called one. It's so funny, that I can't even laugh about it. 


If you think that there are agents on this site, report them immediately!


G. Rahmanian

It's as crazy as it gets!

by G. Rahmanian on

Some folks are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and they don't seem to realize it. I'm not talking about IR's paid agents on this site! They're doing their job. I'm talking about those entities who claim to oppose the regime, but spend most of their time attacking the real opposition.


This is where you betray your "credentials" Mr Sahimi

by anglophile on

But, I refuse to put someone on public trial when the orders for killing were issued by someone else, they were carried out by others, and the man had no control on either the person who ordered the killings or on the executioners. " On one hand you bring examples of Nuremberg trials (in a previous blog) in order to justify your regard for international laws and on the other you protect certain people from even being put on trial, never mind convicted, in a fair and democratic court of law. I presume if yor were the prosecuter at Nuremberg, at least half of the defendants would have been cleared even before reaching the court!! How do you know Musavi had no control, not ot mention the knowledge of the executions. His counterpart at Nuremberg, Albert Speer (no comparison in terms of their architectural expetise intended!!) had a position in the Nazi system not half as important as yor friend Musavi and yet he was put on trial for prosecuted for having the knowledge of the Holocaust.  آن را که حساب پاک است، از محاسبه چه باک است؟!


Excellent observation by Souri khanom...

by Bavafa on

"This group has a doctring of their own : My democracy is not your democracy! I can say every thing I want but you, are not allowd to do the same! "


Unfortunately the examples of such guiding principles are too frequent on IC.


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Souri Khanom,

by jirandoust on

I hear you loud and clear! I hope someday we Iranians can carry on a discussion without creating hysteria or sensationalism, to stick with facts, forget personal agenda and to stay away from personal attacks.

Meanwhile, I strongly believe it is all true Iranians duty, particulatly the ones in diaspora with ralatively more freedom of expression, to condemn this cowardly act of terrorism and do whatever we can to prevent a devastating war some are planning for Iran.

Shad Basheed!


Lady vildemose

by Mammad on

I - the former "one of the most underrated Iran experts" in your own language - am everything that you call me in your last response, multiplied by 10^n, as n diverges! But,

I let others compare my comments that, right or wrong, are based on common sense, if nothing else, with your emotion-ladden profanities, and then decide what each of one us is.

Saying "this is a low point for Israel" is not condemnation. May be it is in your world, although even then it will collide with your describing terrorism as "activity abroad." Will you use that description for the VF regime's terrorism?

I do not need to have your permission or that of others to live here in the U.S. As I have said repeatedly on this site in response to American "patriots" of Iranian heritage that have made such silly comments when they have nothing to say, I'll be delighted to put up - on a moment notice - my track record as a citizen of the United States against yours or that of anyone else that attacks me here, to see which one of us has made more meaningful contributions to the American society. But, I reserve the right to dissent, which is my right as a law-abiding, tax paying, highly contributing citizen.

I condemn torture, terrorism, and dictatorship, regardless of who commits them and what political structure is behind them, whether in Iran or elsewhere. I have said many times that at this stage of my life I wish nothing more than seeing the VF regime gone. But, I refuse to make an alliance with Iran's enemies - not the regime's but Iran's - to achieve my wish. Perhaps that is the difference between me and your type.

If some of you just bother yourself and read my articles elsewhere, you see that I have published too many articles about most crimes that have happened in Iran over the past 33 years, from the Chain Murders to the executions of 1980s, etc. Few individuals, if any, have documented such crimes in English with as much detail as I have given. The record is there for anyone to see, if there is the will to break out of the ivory tower of "you are either with us or with the VF regime" and take a look around.

I have said many many times that if Mousavi had a hand in the 1980s crimes, he must and will be held accountable. But, I refuse to put someone on public trial when the orders for killing were issued by someone else, they were carried out by others, and the man had no control on either the person who ordered the killings or on the executioners. 




It's obvious who the unbiased, "logical" ones are

by AMIR1973 on

It's the same individuals who frequently call others "turncoats", "traitors", AIPAC, etc, etc. And then they complain about the "conspiracy theories" and lack of "logic" on IC. One has to admire these individuals for their creativity!


Thanks to

by Souri on

Dr Ala and Mammad for their great input, and also thanks to amirparvis, for his unbiased statements.


Regarding Hysteria

by Souri on

Mr Jirandoust,

This was exactly my point in my frequesnt comments. Some of the readers at IC, have turned these pages to a veritable piece of theater. They run from one blog to another, only to spread slogans (shoar dadan) without any consistance.

Our dear friend, came to Ari's blog last night, and insulted Ari (and us) just because he has an old beef with him:

"Shame and disgrace....

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

On the monsters who have the impudence to put the picture of Neda agha
soltan, next to the one belonging to a comrade of her murderer...."

and when I criticize him, calling him a dangerous mind, he calls it:

"disgraceful, out of context,  personal attack!"

This group has a doctring of their own : My democracy is not your democracy! I can say every thing I want but you, are not allowd to do the same!


Dear Bavafa

by BacheShirazi on

You might not have noticed that on IC insult, conspiracy and absolute
bias often times are the guiding principals in shaping many of the
comments by our dear members.
Sound logic does not have much place here


It becomes more and more obvious every day, my friend. 

G. Rahmanian

خمس و زكات در جمهوري اسلامي!

G. Rahmanian

Speaking of bank rates I thought this link might help you to understand what may happen to your money if you trusted the regime and were lured by the banks new interest rate of 22%.




by jirandoust on

I just wrote a long comments explaining that you were not the one my comment was pointed at, but somehow was not posted. Don't know why. There wasn't anything in it to offend anyone. Maybe Admin can explain why.


mammad, jirandoust

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

How is wanting IRI overthrown and not complaining about a Basiji being targeted for murder make one a Turncoat?????

Please explain in detail. 

That Israel and Mek were behind a bomb killing is shameful terrorism "yes mek are turncoats" but since Mr Dead Basiji was on the side of forces terrorising the people of Iran (not a civilian), whats your issue really? If he was just a scientist you'd have a moral point. He wasn't so you don't.

Sure it was terrorism, even though against a man that worked as a force for Violence against Iranians, yes wrong.  Where's your condemnation for terrorism 100 times worse on the peaceful people of Iran?  Doesn't leaving the people of Iran abused and undefended really mean you are the true turncoats?????  Seems to me you guys are opposed to freedom and justice for Iranians (by not condemning Ali Gheda and his regime) and the other guys are more for freedom and justice. 


Ari Siletz

By the way

by Ari Siletz on

"Separation" just won the Golden Globe for us. Congratualtions everyone, on either side of this debate.


Reading all the comments on

by jirandoust on

Reading all the comments on this blog and the other one on the same subject, one can not help but to suspect that there may be a treacherous alliance (to borrow Trita Parsi's book title) between MEK, AIPAC and some turncoat Iranians. The amount of hysteria this "Alliance" is creating is unbelivable.