Politics

Israel Held Responsible for Deaths of Iranian Scientists

default article imageSuspects behind the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists surmounted behind a homegrown terrorist group, but it was unclear where the group had been receiving its financing, training and arming until early Friday morning when Iranian officials levied the Israeli Secret Service and the United States as those responsible. 

Since 2007, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has launched fatal attacks, resulting in the deaths of five Iranian nuclear scientists. 

The Iranian government discovered the make of the bombs, as well as the links between Israel and the MEK, after a failed bombing in late 2010 when the government interrogated the apprehended bomber.

The magnetic car bomb from last month matched ones identified from prior attacks.

Earlier last month, NBC News reported the dramatics behind planting the explosive devices to the scientist’s cars.  During peak commuting hours, the “motorcycle borne assailants” approached the car, attached a magnetized explosive device to the side of the car, and sped away before it detonated.  

The latest scientist to fall at the hands of his assailant was 32yearold, was professor and deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.

Earlier assassinations include Majid Shahriari, in November 2010, and Massoud Ali Mohammadi in January of that year.  The November assassination left Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, wounded. He later became the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, according to NBC.

Iran’s nuclear program has always been a subject of high debate throughout the international community due to the country’s withholding of project information.

Dr. Charles Cotton, adjunct professor of the Political Science Department, said, “[It is vital] to remember Russia’s role here. We are definitely seeing remnants of the old Cold War power struggle.  The U.S. will have to take a strong stand, especially regarding their support of Israel,” he said. 

Despite strong international pressures to release its nuclear program information, Iran has announced that it would continue to pursue the development of its nuclear capabilities.

“America and Israel’s heinous act will not change the course of the Iranian nation,” the country released in a statement quoted by Reuters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also denied any involvement. “I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran,” she said.

In a statement to the United Nations, Iran expressed “…deep concern over [the attacks], and lodges it strong condemnation of, such cruel, inhumane and criminal acts of terrorism against the Iranian scientists.”

“There has never been and there is no MEK member in Israel, period. The MEK has categorically denied any involvement. The idea that Israel is training MEK members on its soil borders on perversity. It is absolutely and completely false,” Ali Safavi, representative of the MEK, disclosed.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Professor of Political Science and Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, specializes in Middle Eastern studies.  Regarding Israel, “...it is no secret that among its top military strategic goals is the neutralization of Iran’s nuclear program.   Such an interest coheres well with MEK’s struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. You might say, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend, at least until the job gets done.’  I would not be surprised if there is actual collaboration between Israel, MEK and other parties active in Middle East affairs.  Similar collaborations have occurred in the past.”

Along with the bombings and conspiracies behind the destruction of an Iranian missile research and development site at Bin Kaneh, 30 miles outside the capital, have circulated around the MEK, despite the Iranian government calling it an accident. 

Early Monday morning, Israel blamed Iran for the dual bombing attempts in New Delhi and Georgia against affiliates with Israeli embassies; Friday’s accusations have raised the level of tension between the two nations.