Reports of Mossad role in assasination shine light on Israeli hypocrisy

irancoffin
Mourners carry a flag-draped coffin of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the Iranian scientist assassinated last week (Photo: Mehdi Ghasemi / Iranian Students News Agency)

Reports that the Israeli Mossad were behind the recent assassination of an Iranian scientist continue to be published. Israeli media today is full of articles summarizing a Sunday Times (UK) report that gave details of the Mossad operation in Tehran.

The Sunday Times report follows a TIME magazine article, based on unnamed sources, that also says Israeli intelligence was behind the hit.

These reports, coupled with Mark Perry’s bombshell, deal a blow to one of Israel’s core arguments against Iran: that it is a state-sponsor of terrorism whose pursuit of nuclear weapons could embolden “militant Islam” to undertake global aggression.

Benjamin Netanyahu laid out this rationale when he spoke to Congress last year:

But while we hope for the best and while we work for the best, we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future. They oppose modernity. They oppose democracy. They oppose peace.

Foremost among these forces is Iran. The tyranny in Tehran brutalizes its own people. It supports attacks against Americans troops in Afghanistan and in Iraq. It subjugates Lebanon and Gaza. It sponsors terror worldwide.

When I last stood here, I spoke of the consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Now time is running out. The hinge of history may soon turn, for the greatest danger of all could soon be upon us: a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.

Militant Islam threatens the world. It threatens Islam.

…like other fanatacisms that were doomed to fail, militant Islam could exact an horrific price from all of us before its eventual demise.

A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world.

Now, Israel itself stands accused of an act that former CIA officer Paul Pillar calls “international terrorism.” And Perry’s report that Mossad agents cultivated Jundallah, a militant Islamist organization in Pakistan, to carry out a covert war on Iran makes Israel’s cries about “militant Islam” ring hollow. 

Here’s Pillar on the Iran assassination:

The killing of an individual foreigner overseas, if carried out for a political or policy purpose by either a nonstate actor or clandestine agents of a state, is an act of international terrorism. At least that is how U.S. law defines it, for purposes such as the State Department’s annual reports on terrorism. This form of terrorism is part of what put Iran on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Through the 1980s and into the 1990s, the Iranian regime perpetrated numerous assassinations of exiled Iranian political dissidents, in Europe as well as in other countries of southwest Asia. The Iranians effectively ended this assassination campaign about a decade and a half ago, largely to improve relations with the European countries on whose soil many of the assassinations occurred and perhaps also because by then Iran had bumped off nearly all of the people on its hit list. We should assume, however, that Iran retains the capability to assassinate far-flung targets again, and that it would consider doing so if searching for ways to strike back at adversaries that are striking it.

Iran itself has been a victim of this form of terrorist violence. This has included some instances, such as the killing of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan, in which Iranian interests have paralleled those of the United States. It has included during the past two years the killing in Iran of several nuclear scientists, the most recent of whom died this week from an explosive placed on his vehicle. Actions are more important than nomenclature, so if you prefer not to apply the T-word to these killings then just imagine what the reaction would be if something similar were occurring in the United States. Imagine the response if even just one scientist (let alone four or five) who was employed, say, at one of the U.S. national laboratories had been been similarly assassinated and a foreign hand was suspected. There would be screams of “act of war” and the U.S. president would be hard-pressed to hold back impulses to strike back forcefully. Now put yourselves in the Iranians’ place. Not only do they face the serial assassination of their scientists, but they face it amid an environment filled with numerous other indications of foreign hostility, including the economic warfare, the saber rattling and the contest among American politicians to see who can shoot the most rhetorical venom at Iran. From this perspective, aptly described by Vali Nasr, it should hardly be surprising if Iran strikes back while it sees more reason than ever before to develop a nuclear weapon in the hope of deterring U.S.-led aggressiveness.

Who’s the terror-sponsor now?

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is an assistant editor for Mondoweiss and the World editor for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.
Posted in Iran, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East | Tagged , ,

{ 23 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. The terrorist state exposed. Iran should take the case to the UN and the International Criminal Court. Imagine the manufactured outrage if an Israeli scientist was assassinated by a foreign state, who then smirked about it. They have no moral right to protest about terrorism when they practice it themselves, not that they care about that, being king-size hypocrites and liars.

    • goodman says:

      This should should not come as a surprise. Israel as a settler-colonialist exclusivist enterprise could only be built through terror, and terror is required to maintain the zionist project.

      Maxime Rodinson in her book “Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?” observes:

      “Given the initial aims of the [zionist] movement, it could not
      have been otherwise. Once the premises were laid down, the
      inexorable logic of history determined the consequences.
      Wanting to create a purely Jewish, or predominantly Jewish,
      state in an Arab Palestine in the twentieth century could not
      but lead to a colonial type situation and to the development
      (completely normal, sociologically speaking) of a racist state
      of mind, and in the final analysis to a military confrontation
      between the two ethnic groups.” (p. 77)

      Honest Zionists do not mince words.

      “Zionist colonization must either be terminated or carried out
      against the wishes of the native population. This colonization can,
      therefore, be continued and make progress only under the protection of
      a power independent of the native population – an iron wall, which
      will be in a position to resist the pressure to the native population.
      This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs…”

      -Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923.

      • seafoid says:

        “an iron wall, which
        will be in a position to resist the pressure to the native population”

        Jabotinsky, the old Russian tart, never foresaw consumerism and the greed of the economic elite . The rot from within.

        Neither did he foresee the weakness of Israel’s politicians, buying off the Orthodox with promises that subsequent generations would be unable to afford.

    • MLE says:

      I can imagine the outcry if Iranian agents, or Palestinian for that matter, murdered a scientist at the Technion, who just happened to be working on some new drone technology. The widow and the kids would be making the rounds crying on television and talking about what a family man he was, how nice and kind he was, and how he was so smart, and using his intelligence to make the world a better place (by building drones…). They would hold up his cute little daughter and say, “How could you let this girl grow up without a father, you monsters!!!”

      Apparently only white people get to separate their work from their family lives. Everyone else can’t be a father, a husband, a friend, a neighbor, a scholar, a patriot (true, im not fond of the Iranian regime, but if Israelis on this board can crow about their patriotism, Iranians can too) etc… Non white people can only be nuclear scientists, as if they mean he lived in his castle on a hilltop where it was always stormy, constantly scheming how to find new ways to make Israelis lives that much worse, alongside his hunchbacked assistant. If his wife or kids were in the car, the Israeli media would only say- “well, they should have recognized he was a bad man plotting to hurt people and not ridden in a car with him.”

  2. chet says:

    “ISRAELI spy agency Mossad’s station chief in Australia has been expelled after a comprehensive investigation confirmed that Israel equipped a team of assassins with forged passports of Australians and other foreigners.”

    link to theaustralian.com.au

    What are the chances of the US Gov’t taking a similar course of action?

    • RoHa says:

      And what happened afterwards?

      1. Popeyed loony Julie Bishop (2-in-C of the Coalition) defended Israel against Australia and blabbed about ASIO using fake passports. She was not indicted for treason.

      2. That Nice Mr. Rudd was bounced out of the Lodge and replaced by The Very Wonderful Julia Gillard, whose partner is an Israeli agent.

      3. Tony Abbot started his election campaign by sucking up to Israel at a lunch for the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

  3. Les says:

    The Israeli Jews who run and support their government imagine themselves to be intellectually superior (whether they consider the reason to be their race or their religion, they don’t say) to Arabs, Palestinians, Iranians, etc. So why has this happened to the brilliant stuxnet folks:

    Hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al Airlines and three banks on Monday in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel.

    By Reuters
    Monday, January 16, 2012

    link to rawstory.com

    • seafoid says:

      “imagine themselves to be intellectually superior “..

      …and also to have reached the end of history. The archaeological ruins of the land of Israel have so much to teach them about political power and human stupidity but this Zionist time is of course supposed to be different.

  4. seafoid says:

    link to guardian.co.uk

    Israel hit by cyber-attacks on stock exchange, airline and banks

    Pro-Palestinian hackers suspected of infiltrating websites of three high street banks, El Al and Tel Aviv exchange

    Hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, El Al airlines and three banks on Monday, in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel. The attacks came just days after an unidentified hacker, proclaiming Palestinian sympathies, posted the details of thousands of Israeli credit card holders and other personal information on the internet in a mass theft.

    Stock trading and El Al flights operated normally despite the disruption, which occurred as Israeli media reported that pro-Palestinian hackers had threatened at the weekend to shut down the Tase stock exchange and airline websites.
    While apparently confined to areas causing only limited inconvenience, the attacks have caused particular alarm in a country that depends on high-tech systems for much of its defence against hostile neighbours. Officials insist, however, that they pose no immediate security threat.

    “They have demanded an apology for Israel’s defensive measures,” the deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, said on his Facebook page, alluding to the conflict with Palestinians.

    “I am using this platform to send a clear message that … they will not silence us on the internet, or in any forum.”

    • “Pro-Palestinian hackers suspected of infiltrating websites of three high street banks, El Al and Tel Aviv exchange”

      As the great Jim Morrison would sing : They’ve got the guns but … we’ve got the number” … and this number keeps growing.

  5. seafoid says:

    Zionism has been murdering its opponents since the 1920s.
    The ideology is nuts.

    Book your tickets for Masada Redux

    • Bandolero says:

      “Zionism has been murdering its opponents since the 1920s.
      The ideology is nuts.”

      I couldn’t have brought it more to the point.

      To understand zionism, I think it’s helpful to have a look at Avraham Tehomi, killer of Jacob Israël de Haan and hitman of later Israeli president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Zionists didn’t like Jacob Israël de Haan, because he wanted peace. So they killed him. And, of course, they blamed Arabs for their killing.

      That was more than 80 years ago, but I think the pattern still sounds quite famliar today.

  6. radii says:

    you reap what you sow … finally America is stepping out of the way from shielding israel and letting israel get the full spotlight treatment for its actions

  7. RE: “But while we hope for the best and while we work for the best, we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future. They oppose modernity. They oppose democracy. They oppose peace. Foremost among these forces is Iran.” ~ Netanyahu

    MY COMMENT: Speaking of countries that oppose democracy, watch the following documentary by John Pilger.

    AN EXCELLENT DOCUMENTARY: “The War on Democracy”, 2007, NR, 93 minutes
    Journalist and documentarian John Pilger focuses on the ambivalent role played by the United States in promoting Latin American democracy, suggesting that American leaders have often favored oppressive regimes over more democratic alternatives. Pilger outlines the last five decades of political manipulation by the CIA and other U.S. agencies, focusing in particular on recent efforts to unseat the populist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
    Netflix Availability: Streaming (DVD availability date unknown)
    NETFLIX LISTING – link to movies.netflix.com
    ALSO ON YouTube (1:33:37) – link to youtube.com

  8. “What is seen in espionage films as a simple operation is a result of hard work, many months of intelligence gathering and a well trained team,” an unnamed Israeli source said.

    ” According to the newspaper, Israeli Mossad agents gathered in small groups to observe key locations across Tehran. The agents monitored Roshan’s every move from an improvised control room in a safe house nearby.

    Meanwhile, the Iranian intelligence headquarters in the city center was also under observation, less than a mile away from the assassination location.

    Suddenly, they noticed a number of cars and people running. The streets quickly filled with police officers. One of the agents, listening to the radio communication between Tehran police and security forces confirmed the irregular activity.

    Later that day, the paper claimed, Roshan’s bodyguard and driver checked the state-issued silver Peugeot 405, for explosives. He then proceeded to slip into the driver’s seat and waited for the scientist.

    Just before 8 a.m., an Israeli observer reported the objective had left via an intercepted message. Then the assassins’ commander made the final decision, telling agents who were standing by with a motorcycle in a hidden garage to “go.” “

  9. RE: “the greatest danger of all could soon be upon us: a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons… Militant Islam threatens the world. It threatens Islam…like other fanatacisms that were doomed to fail, militant Islam could exact an horrific price from all of us before its eventual demise.” ~ Netanyahu speaking to the U.S. Congress

    MY COMMENT: Look who’s talking: a devotee of “great rabbi of Lubovich”! This is yet another instance of the pot calling the kettle black!

    SEE: The ‘Invented People’ Stand Little Chance, by Robert Fisk, The Independent/UK, 01/14/12

    (excerpt). . . When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly in New York on 23 September, few noticed a quite remarkable reference in his speech. In refusing Newt’s “invented” people’s request for statehood, he made an extremely unpleasant remark about “the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam”. But far more disturbing was this: “In 1984, when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubovich. He said to me … you’ll be serving in a house of many lies … remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.”
    Did Obama and Clinton or anyone else pick up on this reverent memoir, indeed the only quotation from any of Netanyahu’s meetings which he chose to mention at the UN? For this is the rabbi who viewed himself as a messiah and whose followers stood behind Netanyahu in his successful 1996 election campaign. Only Sefi Rachlevsky in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz appeared to spot the significance of Netanyahu’s remark.
    “The Lubavitcher Rebbe [sic] was famous for his vehement opposition to even the tiniest withdrawal from any territory ever held by the Israel Defence Forces, even in the framework of full peace,” Rachlevsky wrote. “The most prominent emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – the great rabbi, as Netanyahu termed him at the United Nations – included Baruch Goldstein, perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron massacre, and Yitzhak Ginsburg, the rabbi of Yitzhar, he of the radical book Baruch the Man (which celebrates the massacre).” The rabbi, Rachlevsky continued, believed that in the land of the messiah, there is no room for Arabs. Newt was right on track, it seems. “Thus racism entered Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations – not ‘merely’ against Islam, but also against Arabs.” …

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to commondreams.org

    • RE: “In 1984, when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubovich. He said to me … you’ll be serving in a house of many lies … remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.” ~ Netanyau at the UN

      SEE: Israelis Facing a Seismic Rift Over Role of Women, Ethan Bronner & Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 1/14/12

      (excerpt)…Dan Ben-David, executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, said fertility rates in the Haredi community made the issue especially acute; the very religious Jews are the only group in Israel having more children today than 30 years ago.
      “They make up more than 20 percent of all kids in primary schools,” he said. “In 20 years, there is a risk we will have a third-world population here which can’t sustain a first-world economy and army.”
      And, Mr. Ben-David added, what children learn in the ultra-Orthodox school system — largely unregulated by the state as a result of political deals — is unsuited for the 21st century, so even those who wish to work are finding it hard to find jobs.
      “Their schools do not give them the skills to work in a modern economy and no training in civil or human rights or democracy,” Mr. Ben-David said. “They don’t even know what we are talking about — what we want from them — when we talk about discrimination against women.”
      The Haredi community thinks this is a wild misunderstanding of its views.
      Rabbi Dror Moshe Cassouto, a 33-year-old Hasid, lives with his wife and four sons in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, one of the centers of Haredi life in Israel. He never looks directly at a woman, other than his wife, and he believes that men and women have roles in nature that in modern society have been reversed, “because we live in darkness.”
      His goal is to spread the light. “God watches over the Jewish nation as long as it studies Torah,” he said…

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to nytimes.com

  10. GalenSword says:

    Why aren’t American Zionists being arrested wholesale for giving material aid to Zionist terrorism?

  11. pabelmont says:

    Israel adn the USA have the power to say, with straight faces, we didn’t do it but if we did do it it was a legitimate act of war and not murder or terrorism. The power to say? I meant the power to get away with saying. Israel has, after all, got away with a great deal such as 44 years of illegal settlement. what’s an assassination next to that?

  12. Walid says:

    From Iran’s Mehr News:

    Over 1000 students apply to change major to nuclear physics, engineering
    TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (MNA) – A number of students at the Sharif University of Technology have announced their readiness to work in the nuclear industry promising to rob the enemies of sleep, Mehrdad Bazrpash, an official at the university, said on Monday.

    The news came five days after Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, a graduate of Sharif university in chemical engineering and an official at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, was assassinated in Tehran.

    Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Kamran Daneshjo also told a press conference on Monday that “three hundred talented students at Sharif university and about a thousand brilliant students at the country’s universities have applied in recent days to change their major and start studying nuclear physics and nuclear engineering.”

    EP/PA
    END
    MNA

  13. eljay says:

    >> …like other fanatacisms that were doomed to fail, militant Islam could exact an horrific price from all of us before its eventual demise.

    Like other fanatacisms that were doomed to fail, Zionism could exact an horrific price from all of us before its eventual demise.

    Ain’t that the truth.

  14. If there was no double standard and the US governments “anti-terrorist” policy (including “if you give shelter to international terrorists, you are an enemy) was not just empty blather, Obama would treat Netanjahu the same way that Bush junior treated Saddam Hussein.

    And of course, he would also arrest the anti-Castro Cuban exile terrorists living the good life in Florida.