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 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
#hekmati, the US marine who was handed down a death sentence in#iran, hardliners say assassination shows he deserves to die
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?”