Monday, November 29, 2010

Iranian Nuclear Scientists Targeted For Assassination

Attacking the physical infrastructure of the Iranian nuclear program may produce minor setbacks and cause the Iranians to further fortify their program against physical attack, defending and protecting the scientists and brain-trust that is building the infrastructure could produce longer lasting setbacks because of the knowledge gap and the time it takes to train and gain expertise in dealing with the practicalities of building a nuclear infrastructure.

So, when reports surfaced that someone planted car bombs that killed one leading Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another, my ears perked up.
Two bomb blasts in the Iranian capital Monday killed a top nuclear scientist and wounded another.

State-controlled media immediately accused the US and Israel of being behind the assassination, which came days before Iran is scheduled to discuss its nuclear program with international officials. And on Sunday a trove of US embassy cables revealed by WikiLeaks revealed that multiple Arab countries have urged the US to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, while many Western nations accuse Tehran of using the program to develop nuclear weapons.

State media reported that two bombs were attached to the cars of the scientists by unidentified men on motorcycles, then detonated from a distance, reports Agence France-Presse. The scientist killed was Majid Shahriari, a professor in the nuclear engineering department at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Fereydoon Abbasi, also a professor at the university who is involved in nuclear research at the Defense Ministry, was wounded.
The attacks occurred at two separate locations with two separate bomb attacks. While some might think that this is a plot line out of James Bond, these attacks may have the ability to put a crimp in Iran's nuclear ambitions and there are more than a few countries that might be behind the effort to stop Iran by any means necessary.

As the recently released US State Department cables and documents show, it wasn't Israel pushing the US to take action against Iran. It was Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and these cables and documents increase the number of likely parties responsible for undermining the Iranian nuclear threat.

Thus, Iranian claims that the US or Israel were behind the attacks is just the tip of the iceberg of potential parties to the incidents. Multiple countries in the region are hoping to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, and taking out a couple of nuclear scientists - or putting them in fear of cooperating with the Iranian regime - may help delay Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions.

No comments: