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Killing of nuclear scientist in Tehran heightens threat to American’s life — says ‘Washington Post’ Iran bureau chief

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Hekmati
American Amir Mirzai Hekmati has been sentenced to death in Iran

Does the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist on the streets of Tehran earlier today endanger a former Marine who was lately convicted in Tehran of spying? Even the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Thomas Erdbrink, is reporting that it does.

And if it turns out that Israel killed that scientist, as its officials have hinted triumphantly, what does this mean about the danger to American lives flowing from Israeli militarism? What does this say about Israel’s concern for American lives?

Maybe most important: What does this killing do to international efforts to try and cool the Iranian issue before it boils over? Did Israel just spike those efforts? 

Amir Mizra Hekmati
Amir Mirzai Hekmati

Let’s walk the cat back:

Two days back, Iran convicted former Marine Amir Mirzai Hekmati of spying; and Hekmati was promptly sentenced to death. Here is Post bureau chief Thomas Erdbrink reporting from Tehran:

In a preliminary ruling, Iran’s revolutionary courts convicted American Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death, the Fars news agency reported Monday.

Then today that Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by a car bomb on the streets of Tehran. It was all over the news tonight. The US rushed to condemn the killing:

The United States on Wednesday forcefully condemned a car bomb attack that killed an Iranian nuclear expert in Tehran–while just as firmly repudiating any suggestion that U.S. operatives might have taken part in the assassination.

Are the Iranians buying this? This is Washington Post bureau chief Erdbrink’s twitter feed from earlier tonight:

bad news for , the US marine who was handed down a death sentence in#iran, hardliners say assassination shows he deserves to die

[Later]

See reaction here by hardliner Taraghi in second page of piece: “Certainly deserves the death sentence”

Now here’s Israel hinting that it killed the Iranian scientist:

a throwaway comment by Israel’s military chief has hinted of possible Israeli involvement in attacks like the explosion that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist Wednesday.

And even gleeful:

”I don’t know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear,” Israeli military spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai wrote on his official Facebook page.

How is Barack Obama feeling about the special relationship tonight? Secretary Clinton? The family of Amir Hekmati?

Most important, as my tipster points out to me: “Here we are at the brink of a war that we’re told will be necessary for the US to wage because of the ‘threat to the U.S. and its allies’ — or in Republican parlance ‘threat to the US and its ally Israel’ — and we had an off ramp: the Iranians, under pressure, appeared to be ready to talk turkey over the nuke crisis. So: We’re about to make a push to avert regional conflagration. And this happens?”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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74 Responses

  1. Bumblebye on January 11, 2012, 10:23 pm

    And on Tuesday, merely the day before, Benny Gantz “predicted” unnatural events in Iran:
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=252974

  2. pabelmont on January 11, 2012, 10:31 pm

    Remember the joke about the frog and the scorpion in the Middle East? Scorpion gets a ride across the lake on the frog’s back upon his assurance that he will not sting him. Half-way across, the scorpion stings the frog. Just before they both drown, the frog asks him why. scorpion says, “I couldn’t help myself. This is the Middle East after all.”

    Any country run by the likes of Bibi and Yvette and those anti-democratic Jewish-fundamentalist rabbis is a scorpion, who’ll sting the USA in the middle of the lake.

    Obama and Ron might, perhaps, say “Ouch!” Mitt and Newt, probably not.

  3. ToivoS on January 11, 2012, 10:41 pm

    As someone trained in physical sciences (PhD in physical chemistry from Berkeley who understands many of the engineering problems with building a bomb — the science itself is textbook trivial) I do not approve of these precedents. The first Iranian “nuclear expert” that was assassinated last year was someone who taught a course in high energy particle physics in Tehran. One of my best friends teaches such a course here in the US. If the CIA and/or Israeli agents are killing these scholars, then shouldn’t we expect the Iranians to respond and start killing our scientists.

    Our country is going totally insane if respected people inside our governments are cheering these killings of Iranian scholars and scientists.

    The war party that determines our FP agenda probably do not care a wit. If they succeed in provoking the Iranians to assassinate one of our scientists, then so much the better. That means there will be even more reasons for the US to engage in another ME war on Israel’s behalf.

    • American on January 11, 2012, 11:52 pm

      “Our country is going totally insane”

      It’s not going it’s already gone. Really, it is insane.
      The problem is we have gotten so use to talking about how insane Washington is that our outrage is, if not getting dulled, becoming something we accept we have to live with till it all blows up or goes over the cliff for real.

      • lysias on January 12, 2012, 11:47 am

        It’s becoming easier to understand how sane Germans felt in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

      • American on January 12, 2012, 2:13 pm

        “It’s becoming easier to understand how sane Germans felt in the 1930′s and 1940′s”…

        Yep, in fact some time ago I saw an article, I can’t remember where now, maybe it was an opinion letter in the WP or somewhere—-by a elderly German comparing the changing mentality in the US to how Germany was converted by the nazis.

  4. Real Jew on January 11, 2012, 11:32 pm

    Who do they (america/Israel) think they’re fooling!? The multiple explosions at Iranian military sites, the stuxnet computer viruses, spy drones “malfunctioning” on Iranian sole, the murder of 4 nuclear scientists and attempted murder of another. These are all acts of war against a country who hasnt threatened a soul (until recently).

    Does anybody think (including the Iranians) that this wasn’t the work of the mossad? That these are all just minor infractions that can easily be forgiven. This isn’t high school where you can misbehave then deny it was you who wrote nasty words on the bathroom stall. This is war that Israel/US are playing with, hoping for. How absolutely despicable that a country would start TWO wars, the most horrendous shit to infect mankind, for the sake of their own ego.

    • MRW on January 12, 2012, 2:22 am

      I agree: “How absolutely despicable that a country would start TWO wars, the most horrendous shit to infect mankind, for the sake of their own ego.”

      It’s that simple.

    • lysias on January 12, 2012, 11:48 am

      ”I don’t know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear,” Israeli military spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai wrote on his official Facebook page.<

      Revenge for what? What is he talking about?

      • dahoit on January 12, 2012, 12:45 pm

        Ah,some crap that happened in 500 BC or so.The accounts vary according to the partisans.

      • on January 12, 2012, 1:05 pm

        you mean “revenge” for conquering Nebuchadnezzar, assisting Yehud to return to Jerusalem and supporting Yehud for >200 years to rebuild the place, even though ~50% of Yehud preferred to remain in Babylon/Iran where the livin’ was easier, and the returnees hated their countrymen who had remained behind after the elites had been marched into ‘exile’ in the most sophisticated city in the known world? Revenge for THAT “crap?”

        How should Americans expect to be “thanked” for billions of $ and support for Israel over the past years? Or should Americans expect revenge?

  5. yourstruly on January 12, 2012, 12:19 am

    how can the secretary of state say that america had nothing to do with this latest assassination? didn’t israel essentially own up to it? and isn’t israel the tail that wags the dog, er, america’s closest ally? whether or not our government had advance knowledge of what israel was going to do, america’s unconditional support for the zionist entity is a carte blanche for it to kill & maim wherever and whenever it sees fit. the only way to prevent revenge killings of americans is for the state department to denounce these terrorist acts and to label israel a terrorist entity. fat chance that’ll happen.

    • lobewyper on January 12, 2012, 7:04 am

      Yours truly and others,

      I totally agree. Let’s call it by its proper name, which is premediated murder. Acts of this sort conducted by nations against each other are totally illegal and immoral, and open the door to unlimited future savagery and endless hostility and resentment. This scientist was only 32 years old and probably had a young family who is now fatherless for the rest of its days on this earth. The US may “technically” oppose such actions, but it certainly condones them by its friends–not to mention that it does the same against members of enemy nations (except North Korea). These acts must be investigated impartially and punished severely.

  6. Winnica on January 12, 2012, 12:49 am

    If we assume Israel did it, based on that kind of evidence, we’ve got to also assume Iran was behind the two mass murders of Jews and others in Argentina in the 1990s. Not to mention the certainty that Iran backs Hamas and Hizballah, two organizations which have often proudly trumpeted their glee at killing Israeli citizens. Isn’t it reasonable, then, that Israel regard Iran as a lethal enemy?

    Likewise, if you’re going to travel with evidence as murky as that, there are ample amounts of it indicating that Iranians have been contributing to the deaths of Americans in Iraq for years, and perhaps elsewhere, too.

    If the Iranians end up killing the American, it will be because the Iraninas decided to kill him. They aren’t Israeli puppets, after all.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort on January 12, 2012, 2:34 am

      This assassination has Israel’s prints all over it. After all, among its achievements were the introduction of the car bomb, the letter bomb, and the package bomb (which required additional postage). In fact, assassination of people perceived to be Israel’s enemies has been one of the hallmarks of the state going back to the murder of UN envoy Count Folk Bernadotte (who had worked with Raoul Wallenberg in rescuing Jews in WW2 and Britain’s Lloyd Moyne by the Stern Gang of which Yitzhak Yezernitsky., later to be called Yitzhak Shamir, was a leading member. No one was prosecuted for either murder but everyone in the Yishuv knew who had done them,

      Throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, Israeli agents continued to murder people across Europe and the Middle East that its government didn’t like with car bombs being one of the more favored methods. Arab or German scientists were a common target. In only one case were they prosecuted and that was when, in Lillehammer, Norway, Mossad agents murdered a Palestinian waiter who they mistakenly thought was the mastermind of the attack on the Israeli Olympians in Munich in 1972.

      Israel is simply a country that does not think it needs to be accountable to international law because, as many Israelis have said from time to time, the international community did not come to the rescue of Jews in WW 2 as if the world revolves around the needs and wants of Jews. It is a society that is sick to the core and growing sicker by the minute

      • ToivoS on January 12, 2012, 3:00 am

        Jeffrey

        You fail to mention the introduction of donkey bombs. The Zionist set off a couple of those in Arab markets in Palestinian villages prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. Those were some impressive terror weapons, in the good old days when terror was an accepted tactic before the establishment of Israel. Strange how things change — Israel can now drops their bombs from the sky and, presto, they are not terror weapons but legitimate means of self defense. Israel has has the right to defend itself !!

      • seafoid on January 12, 2012, 6:11 am

        Haaretz military correspondent

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/assassins-of-nuclear-scientists-are-sending-a-double-message-to-iran-1.406810

        “Limiting the assassinations to nuclear scientists conveys a double message to Iran. First, whoever is sending the assassins will not be reconciled to a militarily nuclear Iran. They are determined to damage the nuclear program in all its aspects. ”

        It is a huge game and the Ziobots think they can win it.
        If you tolerate this then your children will be next, Israel.

        I think innocent Diaspora Jews are going to get killed.
        Terrorism tends to work like that.

      • yourstruly on January 12, 2012, 11:08 am

        there is an urgent need for americans, especially jewish-americans to denounce these assassinations and israel terrorism in general. furthermore, as the drumbeat for war intensifies, ron paul’s antiwar stance couldn’t be any more timely than right now. and if he loses the republican nomination, hopefully he’ll run as a third party candidate. he could win if he came out with a statement vis-a-vis libertarian domestic policies, that he’d consider today’s level of so-called entitlements (social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.) to be the bottom line for any decisions as to whether or not libertarian policies were working. in other words, if social security allotments fall below said levels, the difference would be made up out of general funds. if he’s willing, this will enable more senior citizens to back him without concern that they’ll fall into poverty. admittedly history tells us it’s dangerous to put all our eggs in one basket (ie support rp), but unless the occupy movement makes good on its promise to change the world, how else can war be averted?

      • on January 12, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Iran won’t.
        False flaggers will.

    • Avi_G. on January 12, 2012, 7:04 am

      Likewise, if you’re going to travel with evidence as murky as that, there are ample amounts of it indicating that Iranians have been contributing to the deaths of Americans in Iraq for years, and perhaps elsewhere, too.
      —————————————————————————————

      Your comment is incoherent for it looks like you’re desperately trying to make an argument that exonerates Israel, but can’t quite put it all together.

      The fact of the matter is that Israel has a long history of such assassinations. Where it has access, it uses UAVs (Gaza, Lebanon). When it doesn’t have access, it goes on a killing rampage as was the case during the 1970s and 1980s when Israeli agents used explosives to carry out the murders and often used motorcycles for quick getaways after they shot at — or bombed — Palestinian leaders throughout Europe.

      Israel even managed to kill a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway after mistaking him for one of its targets. This was later known as the Lillehammer Affair.

      And most recently, outside Iran, Israeli agents have traveled to Dubai to carry out a murder, and to Jordan when in 1996 Israeli agents, using fake Canadian passports, injected Khaled Mishal with deadly poison. At the time, King Hussein phoned Clinton and demanded that Israel hand over the antidote, which it did.

      Now, for homework, try using your powers of deduction to figure out who benefits and who has motive. I’ll give you a hint, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the US have little capability — in the case of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain — and little interest — in the case of the US — to carry out such assassinations.

    • lysias on January 12, 2012, 11:51 am

      I can’t think of a single German (or Japanese) scientist that the Allies assassinated during World War Two — or of a single scientist in an Allied country that the Axis powers had assassinated. Doesn’t that tell you something about the extremism of the tactic?

      Assassinating Heydrich or Kube is one thing. Assassinating scientists is something very different.

  7. ToivoS on January 12, 2012, 1:24 am

    One tiny point. The photo shows Amir Mirzai Hekmati wearing a kaffeya which is an Arab head dress. Iranians don’t wear those things do they? Where did that photo come from?

    What is happening here? An American of Iranian descent who was trained by the US Marines, fought in Iraq, worked in an anti Iran company (that produced a war game against Iran that was even popular there) and returns to the land of his ancestors and now finds himself in one big pickle for being a suspected spy. What the hell did he expect? This is so nuts there is no way that he could be a real spy. This looks like one total fool; I do hope the US does not use his fate as a casus belli in going into another war?

    Having said that I do hope that our diplomats manage to save him; just because he is dumb he does not deserve to die for his stupidity.

    • MRW on January 12, 2012, 2:26 am

      Winneca, listen to ToivoS.

      • Winnica on January 12, 2012, 7:00 am

        If what you’re saying, Jeffrey, is that Israel invented all those methods, Israel is the world’s primary purveyor of political assassination, and any assassination which doesn’t explicitely have USSR/Russia written on it must be the handiwork of Israel, well, you’re in the realm of the irrational and I can’t convince you otherwise.

        Meanwhile, back in the real-though-murky world of political skulldugery, if the events in Iran have any hallmark recognizable by uninformed outsiders (the 99.99%, to borrow a term), it’s the hallmark of a concerted effort by a whole phalanx of agencies, each bringing its relative strengths to the joint effort.

        I wonder how many of you will be willing to join me in admitting that we have no real information on this except innuendo and misinformation, and that the misinformation is probably part of the effort itself?

      • Avi_G. on January 12, 2012, 9:24 am

        Compare and contrast this comment where winnica plays the role of the little innocent inquisitive grasshopper yearning to learn:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/omar-barghouti-they-can-colonize-our-lands-but-they-can-never-colonize-our-minds.html/comment-page-1#comment-413420

        The link doesn’t work for me, but I’ll take your word for it. Still, may I ask that you walk me thru this, Allison? Because the story doesn’t seem to add up.

        Israel conquered the WB in 1967 – and so far as I know, there were no universities there at all (I could be wrong about this, if so correct me). More than 20 years later, a time came when the Israelis shut down the universities which had been set up during its rule, and also shut down lots of schools, I don’t know for how long. Some time later – days? months? two years? – it allowed them to be reopened, and if I’m following you correctly, they’ve been open ever since, meaning another 20-some years. Which would seem to indicate that closing schools was the exception, not the norm. It doens’t sound like an exception Israel has anything to be proud about, but if it’s an exception one does wonder what caused it and why it ended.

        Another point I need your help on, Allison, is how this fits into the BDS discussion today. When I first read your report on Bargouti’s talk, I thought he (and you) were saying that Israel needs to be boycotted now because it shuts down Palestinian schools (among other things). That certainly seems to be the understanding of my fellow commentors, who talk about all this in present tense and as typical Israeli policy. Yet if I’m following you correctly, it isn’t. It happened once in two generations, and that once was a generation ago.

        And this foaming-at-the-mouth comment:

        If what you’re saying, Jeffrey, is that Israel invented all those methods, Israel is the world’s primary purveyor of political assassination, and any assassination which doesn’t explicitely have USSR/Russia written on it must be the handiwork of Israel, well, you’re in the realm of the irrational and I can’t convince you otherwise.

        Meanwhile, back in the real-though-murky world of political skulldugery, if the events in Iran have any hallmark recognizable by uninformed outsiders (the 99.99%, to borrow a term), it’s the hallmark of a concerted effort by a whole phalanx of agencies, each bringing its relative strengths to the joint effort.

        I wonder how many of you will be willing to join me in admitting that we have no real information on this except innuendo and misinformation, and that the misinformation is probably part of the effort itself?

        It appears that the Terrorist Hilltop Youth have little self control.

        By the way, Israel closes schools in the occupied West Bank on a regular basis. It may not close them all at the same time, but it does close schools throughout the entire territory. And that desperate Mark Regev-like, once-in-a-generation line of yours is a fabrication and a lie.

      • Winnica on January 12, 2012, 12:55 pm

        Evidence abut the Israelis closing schools on a regular basis throughout the entire territory? Does this include Area A schools?

      • on January 12, 2012, 1:09 pm

        perhaps if there’s a Nobel prize in it, better information will be forthcoming.

      • Daniel Rich on January 12, 2012, 6:00 pm

        Hi Winnica,

        Q: …it’s the hallmark of a concerted effort by a whole phalanx of agencies, each bringing its relative strengths to the joint effort.

        R: Are you referring to all those countries directly threatened by Iran, like say Liechtenstein?

        “You will not apply my precept,” he said, shaking his head. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” — The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890) | Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)

      • MLE on January 12, 2012, 8:40 pm

        It’s not like Israel denies these types of actions. I can think of two very big Hollywood movies in the past 10 years CELEBRATING the Israelis use of extra judicial killings. If you want the world to stop automatically assuming you plant bombs under your enemies cars, it would be a good idea not to have a history of doing that.

        It’s like Americans complaining that the world thinks we use torture as a method of interrogation. Because we do use it!! We also teach other countries how to torture more effectively to gain confessions.

        My friend said it best- if you have two children and one is addicted to crystal meth while the other is pretty normal, and you’ve caught the addicted one stealing money out of your wallet several times, and you find money is missing from your wallet again, who are you automatically going to put the blame on? It’s entirely possible the other child took the money, but it’s still more likely your addict kid did it.

      • Avi_G. on January 13, 2012, 12:22 am

        Winnica says:
        January 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        Evidence abut the Israelis closing schools on a regular basis throughout the entire territory? Does this include Area A schools?

        Use the search function on this very website.

      • Chaos4700 on January 13, 2012, 12:54 am

        Actually, eee, it would be like assuming what happened to the USS Cole was done by Israelis, based on what you guys did to the USS Liberty.

    • dahoit on January 12, 2012, 12:56 pm

      How do you not know that his purpose was to possibly identify and finger more assassination victims?Check out his trail through our war machine.
      As an Iranian exile,maybe he had some revenge in mind for his families displacement.
      Who knows,but I wouldn’t disbelieve or believe anything today in this age of wackos.

    • eGuard on January 12, 2012, 10:37 pm

      ToivoS, he may be a fool, but not a 100% fool. He ALSO is an Iranian, and a US marine, and an Iraq and Afghan veteran. Now you say he went there as a child? US-govt did not KNOW their Iraqian Iran/Afghan-vet marine was going there? What is passport control for then?

  8. Cliff on January 12, 2012, 4:46 am

    Off topic but:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TMq3m_Oli4

    American soldiers pissing on Taliban soldiers. Will probably get censored.

    • seafoid on January 12, 2012, 6:06 am

      I am not surprised. They are as bad as the Israelis.

      The Taliban are kicking ass, for all the technological superiority of the Americans. $120bn wasted last year for what? .

      • NickJOCW on January 12, 2012, 10:28 am

        Although they do some really appalling things, I don’t think the Taliban would piss on a corpse. Israelis do piss on Palestinians, I remember an account here of one grandfather subjected to that at a checkpoint, so they didn’t even wait till he was dead. I read the most horrifying story a few days ago about an 8 month pregnant prisoner in North Korea whose child was yanked from inside her and thrown to the prison dogs. I didn’t register the URL because I was so shocked I ‘ran away’. Is there, do you think, more of this kind of thing in the world today or is it just that we have media access to it?

    • American on January 12, 2012, 10:59 am

      I saw that on the news last night……disgusting beyond words.
      They have been thrown out of the elite corp so far and from what was said I think they will probably be given dishonorable discharges.

      I am glad it was shown to the public.
      Media should also show the stuff the IDF does.

  9. moonkoon on January 12, 2012, 7:28 am

    If this senseless killing was hatched by elements in Israel (and I hope it wasn’t, although judging by the reaction from some Israeli sources I could end up being disappointed), I don’t think it was sanctioned by the US.

    Despite the sabre rattling going on at present I don’t think the US Administration is hankering for another war in the region. That’s not to say that some in the US don’t find it convenient to mine the, to my mind, somewhat mysterious but apparently rich vein of anti-Iran sentiment that exists among potential donors to party coffers.

    That said, I am in two minds about Iran’s intentions. On the one hand the story about them wanting a bomb doesn’t stand up to scrutiny (and I have spent some time scrutinizing it) and the loss of the Shah and subsequent takeover by the European backed mullahs has probably faded in the memory of the electorate -or has it?. On the other hand, Ahmadinejad’s current visit to the gang’s South American chapters, i.e. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua etc. seems designed to inflame the situation. Why is this happening now? I generally support his assertion that peaceful nuclear energy doesn’t belong to a select club, but he could have picked a better time and platform to harangue the US about it. And his “capitalism is in decay” observation sounds like pointless, shallow, bolshie gloating. I mean, why bother?

    The other complicating factor in all this is that I don’t know if the practice of sham opposition is in play in this increasingly inscrutable conflict.

    • on January 12, 2012, 9:26 am

      So… you think that Ahmadinejad should just sit on his behind , and wait quietly for a “humanitarian intervention” Libya’s/Iraq’s style, directed at his country ???
      He should just wait for a light of “democracy” a’la US/Isra to be brought on warships and warplanes to his country??
      He should wait and do NOTHING, while the Eye of Evil turns its sight on his peaceful country???

      • jonah on January 12, 2012, 10:09 am

        He should wait and do NOTHING, while the Eye of Evil turns its sight on his peaceful country???

        peaceful country?

        Not really …. http://www.cfr.org/iran/state-sponsors-iran/p9362

      • on January 12, 2012, 10:36 am

        Yeah, how many wars a.k.a ” humanitarian interventions” Iran started within the last century??
        How many USA?? How many Israel within last 60+ years??

        Plus, don’t feed your brain on this useless propaganda that is included in this sorry link.

      • NickJOCW on January 12, 2012, 10:51 am

        Dumvita, I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Iranians are stoic, they will more likely chalk it up as further confirmation of their views of the ‘regime occupying al-Quds’ Anything else would involve descending to the Israeli level. Just as with the Palestinians’ predicament, the world’s response is one of growing distaste for this kind of thing, which gets added to that stolen passport business last year. A few more like that and there will be serious calls for sanctions on Israel.

      • on January 12, 2012, 11:35 am

        a “world”?? Are you counting on the” world”??
        This is a world.

      • on January 12, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Here is the “world” .and here are its leaders.
        Good video.

      • NickJOCW on January 12, 2012, 2:16 pm

        dumvitaestspesest, I was simply writing that I don’t think Ahmadinejad will start assassinating Israeli scientists. It isn’t necessary, Israel is doing a fine job alienating itself from a world that would much sooner not have to consider all these moral ambiguities. One would be less disturbed by house flies if they didn’t make such a god-awful noise; you try to ignore them but when you have had enough, swat!

      • on January 12, 2012, 2:32 pm

        I know. My sarcasm is reaching its zenith today. Talking about flies and propaganda, and all sort of “polls”and “surveys “done to see what the “public” thinks. There is this great, somewhat funny sentence , that I ‘ve read a long while ago : “let’s eat sh*t, millions of flies can’t be mistaken”.
        The fact that, so called majority, agrees or not agrees on something doesn’t mean a ………….(sh *t)………lot.
        Most of the people are very easy to manipulate. Unfortunately.
        Majority of people won’t believe in a bad wolf unless it sees its bloody teeth right in front of their own eyes.

      • jonah on January 12, 2012, 3:15 pm

        dumvita –
        If a country like Iran finances and arms organisations active in the ME and beyond considered ‘terrorist’ by the USA and the EU, this is usually called ‘waging war through proxies’. Furthermore, if this country is fervently working to acquire nuclear capabilities, refusing to cooperate with the international community on this very sensitive issue, but in fact escalating the tensions by its words and deeds, than we can speak without reserve of a potential threat to the other countries in the Middle East and beyond, that must be dealt with accordingly. To say otherwise is to deny all the evidence.

      • on January 12, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Jonah,
        you just painted a perfect picture of Israel.
        “This country is fervently working to acquire nuclear capabilities, refusing to cooperate with the international community on this very sensitive issue, but in fact escalating the tensions by its words and deeds, than we can speak without reserve of a potential threat to the other countries in the Middle East and beyond, that must be dealt with accordingly.
        To say otherwise is to deny all the evidence.”

        Except that it is not, “fervently working to acquire nuclear capabilities”, but it is fervently working to hide its nuclear capabilities.

    • yourstruly on January 12, 2012, 11:26 am

      given, who’s doing by far the most killing today, the “gang” surely isn’t cuba, venezuela, nicaragua etc. but israel, america, britain, etc. etc.

    • Walid on January 12, 2012, 12:19 pm

      “I don’t think it was sanctioned by the US.”

      moonkoon, the US and Israel come as a package deal. There’s this joint and several thing about them and being joined at the hip, or so we are incessantly told. Do you honestly think that Clinton has suddenly found religion and started telling the truth?

    • dahoit on January 12, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Another nut.

  10. Avi_G. on January 12, 2012, 9:15 am

    Unlike the Israeli regime which for 44 years has been exercising full control over about 4,000,000 human beings, without so much as allowing them to vote, the Iranian government was elected by the same people whom it governs.

    Also, Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has been allowing inspectors into its nuclear facilities on a regular basis.

    By contrast, Israel is neither a signatory to the NPT, nor has it ever allowed inspectors into its nuclear facilities. The only time when it did allow inspectors — back in the 1960s — into the Dimona facility, one of many other facilities in the state, it built a false wall so as to deceive inspectors.

    And finally, the preponderance of evidence points to Israel.

    By their very nature, covert sabotage and clandestine operations are covert.
    So if you’re waiting for confirmation, best ask your friends from your alleged 10-year stint peeling potatoes in the Israeli army.

  11. seafoid on January 12, 2012, 9:22 am

    “Who will be the biggest loser from an Iran-US war?”

    Israel . They call the Iranians fanatics but the region’s biggest collection of nutjobs lives between Tel Aviv and Rehavia.

  12. Dan Crowther on January 12, 2012, 9:47 am

    I think that Barack Obama and Co. are feeling just fine this morning.
    I think they were involved in the assasination, and I don’t think they care all that much about Hekmati or his family. Well, I take that back, they care that he is now a sympathetic characeter — and Iranian to boot, we’re trying to save Iranians, people!!– one that can be exploited by state propagandists.

    The only problem with the “we’re about to avert a regional conflagration” bit is that we (the US) would be the responsible party, it would be a conflagration made in the USA. Barry and the O’s want credit for putting out the fire the US started and he stoked for years – please. The Iranians have been wiling to “talk turkey” for years!!
    But no one in Washington is interested in listening, and that includes the president.
    http://www.nader.org/index.php?/archives/2344-Iran-The-Neocons-Are-At-It-Again.html

    This isn’t the first time a nuclear scientist has been killed, or targeted for assasination, so now because the Iranians hold an American, the US “forcefully condemns” the latest killing. That makes sense on its own. In no way does this signal a change in policy, as if the US all of a sudden wants to make a deal. What international efforts does Phil mean?

    The only international efforts I have seen are Washington putting the smack down, its Euro Lackeys falling in line and the rest of the world trying to figure out how to deal with the new reality. The US has been elevating its presence and activity in the region, we’ve diverted naval resources there, staged combined arms exercises all over the place with our allies, sold new fighter jets, tanks, artillery batteries and other munitions to the GGC countries (even while they battered their citizens) – the list goes on and on, and not just in the Middle East either, this is going on literally all over the world.

    Lost in all of this is the new Obama Doctrine (whatever you want to call it) – where the US is going to focus on Asia, the sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China sea, almost guaranteeing conflict in that region.
    My former neighbor Michael Klare’s latest is helpful here:
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175487/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_energy_wars_2012

    At this point, Im deeply, deeply skeptical about any tipster who would paint barack obama and the US as captive or an unwilling participant in this slow dance to war – control over Iran’s resource development has always been on the agenda, and American presidents – all of them- adhere to the agenda. I don’t see the Israeli’s acting out of turn here, at all – they’re just doing their part.

    And also, what is with Iranian Americans man? They’re like the gang who couldn’t shoot straight, if we believe our government and media. First we have the loser used car salesman running around trying to kill saudi ambassadors, and now we have a former marine running around Iran with his military ID? WTF? Also, I love that the dude took Arabic at the defense language institute, he doesn’t know they speak Farsi? Are we really supposed to believe any of this nonsense? It’s insulting, to all of us. ( I was being sarcastic, in no way was I trying to disparage iranians of any kind, just merely pointing out that the recent iranian “representation” in the media)

    • on January 12, 2012, 12:10 pm

      the sad part is that Iranians will be forced to execute an Iranian.

      Americans have been brainwashed to believe Iranians are knuckle-dragging troglodytes, which is one more indication of the general level of Stupid that USofA has come to reflect, inasmuch as the Iraq that we destroyed is/was the Cradle of Civilization, and Iran that AmerIsraelis are orgasmic to destroy a) sheltered Jews before they were more than a rag-tag troup; b) extended human rights to all the lands in its vast empire — including to Yehud; and c) was home of Zoroaster who, as experts on history of religion Karen Armstrong and Richard Foltz and D Meusse concur, established the prototype of ethics in religion by about 1200 BC (Yehud sheltered in Persian Babylon between ~587-536 BCE).

      USofA is on an Oedipal binge, seeking to kill its religious patriarch and marry its mother.

    • on January 12, 2012, 12:56 pm

      “At this point, Im deeply, deeply skeptical about any tipster who would paint barack obama and the US as captive or an unwilling participant in this slow dance to war – control over Iran’s resource development has always been on the agenda, and American presidents – all of them- adhere to the agenda. I don’t see the Israeli’s acting out of turn here, at all – they’re just doing their part.”

      I’m not so sure, DC. I think there’s a battle going on within the USofA military/CIA/administration/StateDept. As Ron Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” soldiers do not like to be lied to. There have got to be at least a few in US DoD etc who are sufficiently pissed of that they are willling to confront the people who are sending them off to die based on lies. In this ‘conspiracy theory,’ Panetta is on the Bacevich side but not telegraphing that too loudly; Obama’s role is to keep the teeter-totter from going too far out of balance. In my 20-weight tinfoil conspiracy theory, Richard Daley’s departure was a setback for Obama — the I Lobby has engineered similar things before — Mitchell Bard boasts of getting Dennis Ross into the White House after Obama had made “some unfortunate choices” which AIPAC quickly set aright. Lew, Daley’s replacement, is a bankster & zionist. Daley was likely blackmailed out of the way.

      Panetta talked turkey to Netanyahu, then got US troops into Israel. One way to read this is that US has finally figured out who the bad actor is and is going after them. Trojan horse anyone?
      At least I hope that is the case.

      Killing the Iranian scientist was, in this (admittedly speculative) scenario, Israel’s way of signalling to US on the Panetta/Bacevich side of the ledger that Israel has dirty tricks aplenty to deploy.

      In this scenario, the US military who are going to Israel are the bravest of the bunch, and truly “defending our freedoms.” I wish them godspeed.

      • Dan Crowther on January 12, 2012, 1:35 pm

        I think any “battle” going on in US planning circles is between the folks who want to slowly destroy Iran through sanctions, covert operations etc and those who want to “turn it into a parking lot” as hillary put it, i think those were her words…..

        Again, we can pretend that the invasion of Iraq and elsewhere was a decision made between two options: invasion or “peace” – but thats straight nonsense. The fact is, the first gulf war never ended, and the “battle” was between those who wanted to continue the status quo – sanctions, no fly zones, occasional bombings/missile strikes and those who wanted to expedite Iraq’s destruction through outright aggression. Iraq was always going to be destroyed, only the means were up for debate and it’s the same here.

        Others have said the same in regards to the US military and there I think you have a point – but this puts us in a very dangerous situation where only the military brass “can save us” – by coup? not sure, but if the schism becomes so great between civilian and military, there is potential for this happening – but that would be horrible, and would put the recent indefinite detention laws etc into a different light. Is military rule part of the plans here? Scary thought. Especially when it may arise “out of necessity.”

        The plans for troops to israel was long in the making, before Panetta, and Daley himself was loyal to banking interests – I don’t think there is a need for conspiracy theories, these clowns are doing this sht in broad daylight, right in all of our faces and its working, half the US favors attacking iran. And these attempts by media types to make the obama adminstration look “innocent” only reinforce the state propaganda.

  13. on January 12, 2012, 10:03 am

    How do you think Iranian people feel right now hearing this constant , scary threat of a war from a couple of the most powerful countries in the world??
    Imagine for a minute that you are an average Iranian, and you listen to daily news, and the countries that are considered “vibrantly democratic”, ( and which were/are engaged in many wars, known for their people/sheeple as “humanitarian interventions”),threaten your peaceful country with a military attack??
    How would you feel about that???

    • on January 12, 2012, 12:16 pm

      I KNOW how they feel.
      I was in Isfehan on the day that Hillary Clinton said, “We will obliterate you, Iran.”

      An Iranian man who had worked for US companies when US contractors were thick as thieves in Iran under the Shah, stopped me at the hotel elevator. We had a long conversation; he said, “We are all in the car, but the US is driving. US must take care that we all don’t crash.”
      At the end of the conversation, he asked, “Do you think Obama will be better [ie than Hillary or McCain or Bush]”
      I wish I could get the anxious look in his eyes out of my mind.

      In a small village outside Natanz, a Turkic Iranian woman said to our group (through an interpreter), “We know you want to bomb us. Could you please give us a few days’ warning so we can take our children to safety?” Then she offered us tea.

      see also this comment —
      “Iran, with God’s help, has not gone on, and will continue not to, engage in revenge killing,
      especially not the scientist or ordinary people. Killing agents with proven records of their acts, though, are altogether another story.”

  14. Woody Tanaka on January 12, 2012, 10:07 am

    “Do you think the US should not talk to the Iranians because of the attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador, in which there is concrete evidence that Iran was involved?”

    LMAO. I knew there had to be at least ONE person that nonsense.

    • Woody Tanaka on January 12, 2012, 10:56 am

      “Do you think the US should not talk to the Iranians because of the attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador, in which there is concrete evidence that Iran was involved?”

      LMAO. I knew there had to be at least ONE person that beleived that nonsense.

    • Woody Tanaka on January 12, 2012, 1:01 pm

      “…discount completely evidence put forward by the US legal system?”

      First, it wasnot put forward by the US legal system. It was an allegation, never proved. Second, there is no problem with saying that an allegation — by Israel and the US — which is so dopey as this one, can be discounted until proven otherwise, given (1) the US and Israel history of lying, (2) the beligerance of those countries against Iran, and (3) the fact that the allegations don’t pass the laugh test, given the incredible ineptitude of the alleged mastermind of the plot, the bizarre and unnecessarily convoluted nature of that alleged plot and a reasonable disbelief that any state would do what Iran is alleged to have done.

      Any reasonable mind would conclude that believing the allegations in that story stems from nothing other than a borderline pathological need to believe that Iran is doing something bad, without regard for the likely truth of that which is alleged, and, in fact, in defiance of the facial lack of credibility to the allegations.

  15. Kathleen on January 12, 2012, 10:07 am

    “What does this say about Israel’s concern for American lives?” They have no concern for American lives. Unless you are part of their club and support them no matter what they do. Can you say USS Liberty.

    Not hard to imagine that this young man might have been spying. Seymour Hersh has been writing about Israeli and US special forces on the ground in Iran for years. Israel is sure as hell committed to starting a war.

    Call your Reps…let them know what you think

  16. Kathleen on January 12, 2012, 10:08 am

    Phil last night Ari Melber/Nation was on Dylan Ratigan with quite a great rant about Rep Paul and why some progressives etc support him on some issues.

  17. Kate on January 12, 2012, 10:39 am

    Few seem to have doubts that the assassination involved Israel. The NY Times yesterday:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/world/middleeast/iran-adversaries-said-to-step-up-covert-actions.html?ref=middleeast
    “WASHINGTON — As arguments flare in Israel and the United States about a possible military strike to set back Iran’s nuclear program, an accelerating covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyberattacks and defections appears intended to make that debate irrelevant, according to current and former American officials and specialists on Iran.
    The campaign, which experts believe is being carried out mainly by Israel, apparently claimed its latest victim on Wednesday when a bomb killed a 32-year-old nuclear scientist in Tehran’s morning rush hour….”

  18. Woody Tanaka on January 12, 2012, 10:49 am

    “First, you indict and convict Israel based on a standard of evidence that if applied to anyone else you would be screaming your head off about the injustice.”

    If the murder wasn’t done by the Israeli state, it will open all of its government documents on its activities against Iran to a third-party to discover the truth. If it refuses, then that enough evidence of guilt, to me.

    • Winnica on January 12, 2012, 12:50 pm

      The British – reasonably good at democracy they – have files from the middle of the 19th century which are still sealed. They must open them immediately, otherwise we’ll declare the worst about them, and blog about it too.

    • Woody Tanaka on January 12, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Lighten up, Francis, it was a joke.

  19. Kathleen on January 12, 2012, 10:59 am

    “Did Israel just spike those efforts? ” Israel and the I lobby in the US congress are spiking confrontation with Iran everyday in every way that they can.

  20. Kathleen on January 12, 2012, 10:59 am

    Can Iran demand that the ICC investigate these killings of Iranian scientist?

    • lysias on January 12, 2012, 11:57 am

      Or Interpol?

      • on January 12, 2012, 1:59 pm

        wonder if any US spy drones filmed the event.

      • Chaos4700 on January 13, 2012, 8:57 am

        Well good, if they did than it was simulcast to the Taliban and we can get the footage from them. :P

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