Iranian Assassination: Israeli TV Report Hints of Mossad Culpability
Several days ago, yet another Iranian scientist was assassinated in the streets of Teheran, making this the third such killing or attempted killing in a year and at least five overall if my count is correct. I’ve written before about the earlier incidents. The only difference this time is that reports were conflicted about who was killed, whether he was a nuclear scientist, and whether they possibly killed the wrong victim à la Lillehammer.
Muhammad Sahimi, one of the keenest observers here of the Iranian nuclear program and the general Iranian political scene, informs me that the murdered scientist, Darioush Rezaeinejad, was an electrical engineer researching a switch which could be used to trigger a nuclear device. It should be added that his research (see this abstract in Farsi) was published and publicly available. Also, the type of research he performed could be used for other purposes than triggering a nuclear device. Here is what Muhammad, who teaches chemical engineering at USC and is a contributor to PBS’ Teheran Bureau, wrote:
The switch has many, many applications in any systems that work with high voltages. I give [you] the link to Rezaei-Nejad’s abstract of the paper. Show it to any expert, and he will tell you that it has too many applications [to be considered secret], which is why it is out in public.
Iran continues to deny that Rezaeinejad was a nuclear scientist:
Iran’s intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, was quoted by the semi-official Isna news agency as saying: “The assassinated student was not involved in nuclear projects and [his murder] was not linked to [Iran’s] nuclear programme.”
Rezaeinejad, 35, was a masters student at Tehran’s Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology and was waiting to defend his thesis, officials said.
In the aftermath of his death, Iranian news agencies reported different and often contradictory accounts about Rezaeinejad’s background. Isna said he had links with Iran’s nuclear agency and Fars, an agency under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, said he was associated with the country’s defence ministry.
It would seem a stretch to deny the victim was involved with Iran’s nuclear program, though given that he studied electrical engineering and his research could have other uses, the claim is arguable.
The speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, one of the country’s power-players and its former nuclear negotiator, today accused the U.S. and Israel of masterminding the attacks. Though U.S. officials have denied the charges, Israel has pointedly refused to comment. When specifically asked how he responded to such charges, Defense Minister Ehud Barak answered “I don’t respond.” Shortly thereafter he broke out in something that was a cross between a smirk and a Cheshire grin.
Alon Ben David, military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10, the reporter who broadcast the Barak non-statement, also aired a segment on the murder which all but confirmed Mossad involvement. Among other things, Ben David says:
If Mossad is responsible, it would be the first such assassination since Tamir Pardo took over as the agency’s chief. There appears to be an effective apparatus which has succeeded one after the other to attack the [personnel of the] Iranian nuclear program.
A former Mossad operations chief states, almost winking at the camera:
This creates the impression that to be [an Iranian] engaged in this work these days is a very dangerous proposition.
It should be noted that Iran’s intelligence minister has denied the hand of a foreign power in the killing so far. Though his statement doesn’t rule out the possibility that his view may change with further investigation. The U.S. too has denied Larijani’s accusations that it was involved. But it has naïvely warned Iran not to use the assassination and charges of foreign involvement as a “distraction” from its need to bring its nuclear program into compliance with international “obligations.” What this ignores of course is that any campaign by Israel to damage Iran’s nuclear capability will do precisely what the U.S. has warned against. It will persuade the nation’s leaders that there is an international conspiracy against it and that the best way to combat such a plan is to go full speed ahead regardless of what any other nation may say.
As Prof. Sahimi writes:
If Iran does want to develop the bomb – and I still doubt it does – nothing, certainly not terrorism of this type, will prevent it from happening, short of occupying Iran with military force. Iran is finally waking up to the fact that Israel and the U.S. have decided to decapitate its nuclear program by a program of state-sponsored terrorism. If anything, it will make the mullahs and IRGC more determined than ever.
Proof of this may be found in a statement today (translated from Farsi by Sahimi) by the commander of the Basij militia which further ratchets up the existential conflict between Israel and Iran, all thanks to the former’s plan of liquidation directed against Iran:
Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij militia, accused the United States of being the mastermind behind the assassination. Naghdi added that Israel executes the American plans and, “Today, in order to have complete security in the country, we have no choice other than eliminating the Zionist regime from the pages of time, so that our scientists can pursue their scientific jihad.”
Before the neocons and war hawks in Israel and America begin sharpening the tips of their nuclear warheads preparing for the moment they’ve been waiting for so long, let’s keep in perspective that these are words, not deeds. The deeds have come from the Israeli side (if my reporting here is correct) and those who kill (with bullets, not words) are responsible for escalation of the conflict.
Imagine for a moment that Stalin ordered the assassination of J. Robert Oppenheimer at the time he ran the Manhattan Project. Do you think for a minute that the U.S. wouldn’t have made it its business to take revenge on Stalin himself if necessary? Can you fault Iran for taking umbrage at the Mossad’s violations of international law and its sovereignty? What particularly offends me is that Israel acts as if its own actions have no repercussions. It would scream bloody murder if one of its political or military leaders was similarly targeted. But who truly would be to blame should such an event occur?
If Israel is responsible, it is a plan of covert action created by Pardo’s predecessor, Meir Dagan. The latter, I’ve speculated here before, likely created it as an alternative to an all out military attack advocated by Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, according to recent Israeli press accounts. The thinking appears to be that by chipping away at the Iranians through Stuxnet, industrial sabotage, and liquidating personnel Israel can delay the Iranians on their path to nuclear capability.
My problem with this is that this is a tactic but not a strategy. So what if you delay the inevitable? How do you gain if Iran still gets a nuclear weapon? Wouldn’t it make more sense to attempt to come up with a modus vivendi so that you either negotiate the best deal you possibly can and accept Iran’s joining the nuclear club; or you forestall such an eventuality by negotiating with the Iranians an accommodation that suits them (and you) and is short of getting the bomb. THAT would be a strategy. What Israel is presumably doing is like the Dutch boy putting his finger in the dyke when all along everyone knows there is simply too much water pressure on the other side and someday it’s gonna blow.
I also can’t help thinking of the orphans and widows created by this attack. What possible benefit can this campaign have? Does Israel truly believe that liquidating 5, 10, or even 25, Iranian scientists would sufficiently damage its nuclear program so as to prevent the country from reaching its goal, whatever that might be? So what if you delay it by a year or three. Eventually you have to face the music and decide whether you accept a nuclear Iran or whether you take far more drastic measures to prevent that from happening (with no guarantee you will succeed ultimately).
31 thoughts on “Iranian Assassination: Israeli TV Report Hints of Mossad Culpability – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Richard — you’ve surprised me, it’s hard to believe that someone so intelligent can actually write words of such total idiocy and disconnect from reality.
What surprises me is that there is so much ‘idiocy’ (your word, not mine) from individuals inside Israel concerning Iran, you among them.
I’m willing to be convinced that the Iranians would be willing to negotiate anything with us besides our self-destruction. However as far as I know that contradicts all available evidence. What are you basing this on?
Iran has proven itself FAR MORE willing to compromise & be pragmatic than Israel. Virtually every serious Iran scholar I’ve read says this. You just aren’t reading them.
Did you forget Khatami’s 2003 offer to completely normalize relations w. the U.S. which Bush-Cheney spurned??
I think most people in Israel don’t know what to think regarding Iran. dropping a nuclear bomb in the middle of Israel sounds so imaginary but so many people keep saying we should take their threats seriously.
Polls show the vast majority of Israelis believe war with Iran is inevitable. I wish there were the sort of uncertainty u describe. When a nation is resigned to war it will almost inevitably come to pass.
I’m uncertain and that’s good enough for me. but seriously can you ignore Iran leaders statements about erasing Israel from the map? my grandmother told me many times about life before WW2 and Hitler speeches in the radio about how this will be the last PURIM the Jews will live to see. these kind of stories runs down and shape people opinions.
“So what if you delay the inevitable? How do you gain if Iran still gets a nuclear weapon?”
Israel gains time to develop Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile interceptor.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense to attempt to come up with a modus vivendi so that you either negotiate the best deal you possibly can and accept Iran’s joining the nuclear club; or you forestall such an eventuality by negotiating with the Iranians an accommodation that suits them (and you) and is short of getting the bomb”
Iran sees itself as the emerging regional superpower.
Iran does not see the wisdom in or feel the need to negotiate with an “Israel in decline”.
They believe that they can only sully Iran with any compromise or accommodation with the “Satan that is Israel”.
“God decreed in the Torah that the Children of Israel would enter the blessed land of Palestine and establish their own state. They will then indulge in corruption so great that Allah will punish them for it by sending unto them another people who will invade their homeland”
Logic,or even pragmatism as we may understand it is unfortunately not yet a factor in the Iranian Israeli equation.
Utter nonsense. So if Israel develops a missile interceptor you think Iran or some other nation willing to offer it to Iran won’t do so? Or that the new technology will intercept every missile Iran fires?
No, it is actually Israeli fascists like Lieberman who don’t believe Israel should sully itself compromising or accomodating with nations like Turkey. You have no evidence to prove yr claim of superior insight into the minds of Iranian policymakers. And what you say about them & their views is dreck of the 1st order, not worth the virtual paper it isn’t written on.
And goodness gracious you can actually quote a passage of Koran you filched fr. some anti jihadi website. Mazel tov. As for logic & pragmatism, I’m afraid it’s in even shorter supply in T.A. than Teheran.
“So if Israel develops a missile interceptor you think Iran or some other nation willing to offer it to Iran won’t do so?”
Yes,they may do so at some time in the future but until then Israel will have gained a technological advantage, the practical implications of which remain to be seen.
“Or that the new technology will intercept every missile Iran fires?”
If you can find a way to defend yourself would you not pursue it even though it may not be
a total defense.If it is not a total defense, might it not lead to a newer technological development which is a better defense…….and yes diplomacy/making peace would be a better defense if and when it is possible with the Persians.
“You have no evidence to prove yr claim of superior insight into the minds of Iranian policymakers.”
I make no claim of superior insight into the minds of Iranian policymakers.
“And what you say about them & their views is dreck…..”
“And goodness gracious you can actually quote a passage of Koran you filched fr. some anti jihadi website”
Yes,I quote a passage from the Koran.
I’d much rather invest my energy & treasure in a much surer means of protecting my nation: peace. negotiations, etc. They’re the only sure guarantee of peace & security. It’s not a better defense, it’s the ONLY defense ultimately.
In fact, you told us what Iranian policymakers believe & without a shred of evidence to back it up. So you are wrong twice over.
“you told us what Iranian policymakers believe & without a shred of evidence to back it up”
I think that after Israel’s inability to suppress the Intifadas and after her dismal performance in the 2006 war that there is a widely accepted opinion in the Middle East that Israel has been proven not to be invincible.
Many of Israel’s enemies believe that with the passage of time Israel will become weaker.
1) “The Zionist regime is dying,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northern city of Gorgan, referring to Israel. “The criminals imagine that by holding celebrations … they can save the Zionist regime from death.”
2) Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said Sunday that Western support of Israel was ineffective, telling a top Palestinian militant leader that its obliteration was imminent according to the will of God………published 07.02.10
3)Qur’an prophesies Israel’s END &PRESENT. Miracles of Islam Quran!The decline of Israel
And who is to say the translation is accurate?? Do u know who provided it? If u can find a link to the original Farsi I can get a proper translation.
“A former Mossad operations chief”
Gad Shimron was never the Mossad operations chief. he served in the Mossad for 10 years, not enough time to be the operations chief, he was later Maariv’s military reporter.
I translated the caption the tv rpt used to describe him.
Your statement isn’t true
the caption on the Israeli Tv’s piece (You linked to) -Time Marker 1:43 – states :
“גד שימרון, לשעבר איש מבצעים במוסד”
“Gad Shimron, an Ex Mossad Operative”
Do you claim to speak Hebrew ?
Guess what, I make mistakes. Given the short amount of time the caption flashed on the screen, I made a mistake. YOu don’t I presume. BUt when others make mistakes I generally try to point them out without hectoring them or insulting them. That’s apparently a virtue you lack. But thanks for the correction a(^^^)#e. He’s a former Mossad agent and not chief of operations. Big deal.
Where did I offend you ?
I was trying to correct your mistake, and was being very polite about it. You insisted that you translated the caption the right way, and i checked and informed you. What were you offended from ? The fact that you were wrong ?
The fact that a Mossad agent (You don’t really know what he did for the Mossad, as far as you know he may have been the coffee / tea maker) makes a statement about how dangerous it is for an Iranian scientist to work for Iran’s nuclear program, Doesn’t mean that the Mossad carried out the assassination. You are hanging on very limb branches.
You ask someone who’s spent decades reading, writing & translating Hebrew whether they know the language, then profess innocence when I’m insulted?? Are u for real?
Yr fakery reminds me of Israeli Occupation policies. Break the law & norms of good neighborliness right & left & then profess ignorance why anyone could possibly be offended.
And btw, YOU have made a serious Hebrew translation error yrself. The word mivtzaim has to do with “operations,” not making tea & coffee. In other words, he was an agent plain & simple. You know it & I know it , so stop playing games.
His Wikipedia article says he was a member of various “elite Mossad units” for the ten yrs of his service. So I’m afraid we do know a bit about what he did.
And if you make another mistake in yr English usage I’ll nail your a(^. Like this nonsensical English phrase:
You see, if you weren’t such a smartass I’d actually nicely explain the proper way to say what you intended. But since you are, I won’t.
I know it’s Tikun Olam Policy, to send the owner CV to every new member, I would like you to know that in this case I didn’t receive it.
How the heck should i know what you “spent decades reading, writing & translating Hebrew” ? So yes my question was innocent, and i do not need to profess nothing.
And you called me an a. hole ? for what for asking you a question ? go look in the mirror sire.
are you for real ?
Not only you made an error translating, you made an error with the msg sequence.
I made no mistake regarding Shimron, let’s assume he was a member of Mossad Elite units (care to explain what are the differences between a Mossad Elite to a none Mossad Elite unit?) , do you know what he was doing there ? he could have been a logistic support personal, electronic warfare , tee / coffee maker etc. etc. etc.
You still don’t know what he was doing there, you assume that he was an executioner, but you do that so it would fit your agenda and the story you are trying to pass across.
As for my English error, well… I didn’t claim English was my first language, it is not.
I repeat & I’ll repeat it for the last time: someone who is in an elite Mossad operations unit is not making tea & coffee for anyone. Now, if you publish another comment in this thread your comment privileges will be restricted. Yr done regurgitating the same old b(&&@*%t.
I never said he was “an executioner” or anything remotely close to that. I believe he is a disgusting cynic, but unfortunately so are too many other Israelis who believe the lives of their non Jewish enemies are cheaper, & blood less red than their own. You most likely believe that as well.
I have noticed you make a lot of mistakes when it comes to Hebrew, Richard. I call BS on you having any proficiency in the language, which would explain you using Shunra to do the main translation work for you. After all, it’s not like you don’t have the time.
The only time Dena translates for me is when I credit her. If I don’t credit her then I’ve translated myself. I’ve translated thousands of words of Hebrew in this blog. And guess what, I’ve made a few mistakes. Big deal. But for being a lying a(^^#(^3 you’re now banned.
All is fair in love and war.
No, this is a violation of international law for which will eventually pay a price. And there is no war declared that I know of.
Israel has killed so many individuals with families and young children without remorse of any kind. This is psychopathic.
Israel is committing extra-judicial assassinations all the time.
Israel has a death penalty without trial OR PROOF!
I’ll have zero sympathy when “what goes around comes around”. Everyone remember this because I don’t want to have to explain why I’ll refuse to shed a tear when Israel pays the big price. Karma always wins and the longer it takes to show up the more “fire and brimstone” it accumulates.
Tamir Prado needs the Prime Ministers permission to conduct targeted killings, so any delay in the covert program came from the PMO. In this game 6 months is like 10 years.
Iran placates Israel, the targeted killings upset them and do delay the program, but what happens if the alternative to a military option is canceled. For Iran it is the lesser of two evils that they face.
In many ways the recent killing would reassure the Iranians, the delay would have had them concerned they would be bombed. Which was Meir Dagans concern and why he went public.
Obviously that concern is not enough to get them to stop making a bomb. It is a catch 22 during the delay they make progress, but the risk of an attack is increased. So for Iran it is either a 6 month to 12 month delay or war and a 2 to 3 year delay on Bob Gates assessment. Either way there is going to be a delay.
The IRG make comments that the US will not let Israel attack and that we can go ahead and overtly make a bomb. But they fail to factor in that the US stance is in relation to a covert nuclear program, not an overt program.
And that position of the IRG is not of their own free will, it is because in 2005 we knew they had the black site, in early 2007 we warned Iran if they did not stop their activities against US soldiers in Iraq, we would bomb them into the Stone Age and take out the black site.
Then in 2009 the President went public in relation to the black site. So even from 2007 the black site was no longer going to be able to covertly produce a nuclear weapon. In 2009 they had the confirmation that we were not bluffing.
Which is what the site was intended for covertly producing a nuclear weapon, if they want to use it they must do it overtly.
As Meir Dagan knows that Iran is almost always 6 to 12 months away from developing a bomb a substantial delay in the covert project, could force Israel into a position in which they are boxed in on the military option.
Iran constant war games and threats in regards to an attack, is to secure foreign investment, we go around threaten foreign companies that we will target their projects in Iran when we strike and they will lose their investments. Particularly Nabucco.
Iran uses the threats and war games and supposedly technological advanced weapons development (which are crap) like the Ambassador of death which is basically a V2, to say Israel and the US will not attack and your investments would be safe.
The threat of a strike is used as a sanctions enhancement program to target the Iranian economy, especially prior to the last round of UNSC sanctions.
It is highly achievable to produce a skills shortage in the Iranian nuclear program via targeted killing of students and scientists.
That is why Meir Dagan along with other covert operations believes that Iran can be delayed indefinitely from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
No, actually if I recall correctly Dagan has said that Iran will get a bomb. And he is probably right unless the west negotiates seriously & non belligerently to prevent this.
Wrong again. Dagan, again if I recall, said that Iran was at least 18 months from getting a bomb. The number may’ve been even larger than that.
Wow, this is the ultimate in cynicism which reflects far more on you than on those whose views you pretend to channel. To claim that the Ayatollahs are content with repeated assassinations, sabotage & other mayhem against their nuclear program because it staves off a full scale Israeli attack is not just amoral, it’s preposterous. But I have to hand it to you. Whoever cooked up this claim is smart in a brutal, despicable sort of way. Hats off to you.
I have never seen or heard of such a claim from anyone in Iran. Proof?
My friend, you’re out there in Bizarro World. The war games & threats are coming not so much from the Iranians but fr. the Israelis themselves.
Can you provide even a shred of proof that Iran is on a campaign to encourage foreign investment given the international sanctions against them? Who would invest now in Iran & why would Iran be stupid enough to waste tons of energy on encouraging this?
I take it you are the founder of the new Israeli NGO, Friends of the Mossad. Pardo & Dagan couldn’t have put it any better themselves. I strongly suspect Israeli intelligence background or some experience that brings you into very close proximity to their views & makes you a Mossad fellow traveler. Really, I didn’t know you, or they cared. My only hesitation is that your email & IP addresses locate you in Australia, but certainly the Mossad has many friends there & their skills in passport manipulation are quite excellent.
The problem in this piece is the author is thinking logically. With Israel it’s there way or the high way! In this case the highway to Hell! Iran is one of the most civilized Muslim Regimes in that part the world. It has survived every sanction the U.S. has placed on it. As opposed to Israel. Who has never known a moments peace since it’s founding in 1948. The Zionist know that if Iran’s Muslim way of life continues to exist. That other nations including Israel at some point will want to emulate it. Which would mean the end of Zionist power in Israel and the world. Israel knows they are not working to become some kind of Muslim Nuclear Super State and so does the U.S. Iran has to go because they want no nation on this planet to be independent of them! They want never ending wars and debt for every nation! Why they would put off Iran’s inevitable power plant is they are stalling for time. To get the U.S. further cranked up for war with Iran or at least get the U.S. to go along with there invasion of that peaceful nation. Because once Iran goes nuclear and everyone including U.S. sees that the sky is not falling down. They might start asking them selves “What was the reasons for all these wars for close to 100 years for?” The Zionist and Israel can’t afford for the world to come up with the answer.