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Archive for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blast kills Iran nuclear expert amid ‘covert war’

U.S. denies having role in slaying

January 11, 2012

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TEHRAN, IRAN — It seemed a clockwork killing: Motorcycle riders flashed by and attached a magnetic bomb onto a car carrying a nuclear scientist working at Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility. By the time the blast tore apart the silver Peugeot, the bike was blocks away, weaving through Tehran traffic after what Iran calls the latest strike in an escalating covert war.

The attack, which instantly killed the scientist and fatally wounded his driver on Wednesday, was at least the fourth targeted hit against a member of Iran’s nuclear brain trust in two years. Tehran quickly blamed Israeli-linked agents backed by the U.S. and Britain.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied any U.S. role in the slaying, and the Obama administration condemned the attack. However, provocative hints from Jerusalem reinforced the perception of an organized and clandestine campaign to set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The day before the attack, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as telling a parliamentary panel that 2012 would be a “critical year” for Iran — in part because of “things that happen to it unnaturally.”

The blast killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, the centerpiece of Iran’s expanding program to make nuclear fuel. Roshan, 32, had planned to attend a memorial later Wednesday for another nuclear researcher who was killed in a similar pinpoint blast two years ago, Iranian media said.

“A heinous act,” said Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization of Wednesday’s bombing.

It added a tone of defiance. “We will continue our (nuclear) path without any doubt. ... Our path is irreversible,” said the statement carried on state television.

The state news agency IRNA said Roshan had “organizational links” to Iran’s nuclear agency, which suggests a direct role in key aspects of the program. Another news agency, the semiofficial Mehr, said Roshan had been interviewed by inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, which Iran has accused of placing its scientists in peril by including their names in public reports.

Natanz, in central Iran, is the country’s main enrichment site. Officials said this week they were expanding some operations to an underground site south of Tehran with more advanced equipment.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"The day before the attack, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as telling a parliamentary panel that 2012 would be a “critical year” for Iran — in part because of “things that happen to it unnaturally.”"

Surely he wasn't referring to acts such as this, was he, jhawkins?

jayhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps he was. I don't know exactly. He may have been referring to 2012 as the year Iran finished work on it's nuclear weapons. Perhaps he was referring to this being the year the ayatollahs would use those weapons. Perhaps he meant this was the year the ayatollahs combined forces with their other peace loving neighbor Assad in Syria so they could impose their brand of peace in the region.
The fact is that what he meant to say can be interpreted in many ways. Rather than speculate, why don't you go to Jerusalem and ask him what he meant. Take a side trip to Iran and see for yourself if Iran's nuclear program is a peaceful one. Go to Syria and witness the demonstrations. Go to Egypt and witness the birth of their democratic movement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Syria is one screwed up place. So is Iran. So is Egypt. And so is Israel-- the billions in US tax dollars and the sophisticated weaponry that goes with it enables it to merely assume a veneer of democracy. The main difference between Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu is that Netanyahu speaks English.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

Ask the million or so Palestinians that live inside Israel proper how their lives are and then compare it to the Jews living in Syria, Egypt or Iran. Oops, the Jews have either been killed or fled to the safety of other countries rather than stay and face certain death.
The difference isn't that Netanyahu speaks English. The difference is between life and death. For some reason, Bozo, you seem to be perfectly comfortable asking other people to risk their lives by believing unbelievable neighbors while you sit in the comfort of your Lawrence, Ks. home, knowing you will be protected by the very military you detest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Ask the million or so Palestinians that live inside Israel "

And again your willful ignorance shines through-- Palestinians in Israel are second-class citizens, at best, and the most militant of Israeli Jews would expel them, along with all other Palestinians in what they consider "Eretz Israel."

I agree that Israelis have reason to be wary of their neighbors-- just as their neighbors have well-founded reasons to be wary of them. But you clearly lack any ability to feel any empathy for the plight of anyone but the Israelis. Will anything be gained when Israel bombs Iran, and Iran retaliates? Will it be worth the many innocent people who get killed and injured in Iran, Israel and throughout the region? If it stops or greatly reduces the flow of oil to the rest of the world, and causes a second Great Depression, is that worth it?

"knowing you will be protected by the very military you detest."

Almost nothing our military does has anything to do with protecting me, or you.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

Palestinians are second class citizens, certainly correct. Much like Blacks are here. Or Latinos. Or women in every country on the planet. Or gays. Or religious minorities. Or ethnic minorities. Or foreigners. Or the disabled. Or the rich, poor and middle classes. Have I left anyone out? It happens all the time and in every corner of the planet. Not just in Israel. I didn't mean to suggest their lives are perfect and that Israel is Shangri-La. But it is a better place than all those surrounding countries.
I said compare them. Or is it willful ignorance that prevents you from honestly comparing the plights of various peoples and focus on some while ignoring others. A second class citizen in one country does in fact have it better than a dead citizen in another. You speak of the consequences of Israel attacks Iran retaliates. What if Iran attacks and Israel retaliates? Look to history and you will see that a preemptive Israeli strike will be surgical in nature while retaliation does not follow. (Look to Israeli strikes against nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria). On the other hand, initial strikes against Israel are met with overwhelming use of force. We can argue all day whether or not one believes that's appropriate or justify them responding as such, but that's the reality. It will occur like that if history is any indication. So the options are a surgical strike with no retaliation vs. and attack on Israel with a response using overwhelming force.
Or perhaps you think those crazy ayatollahs are developing those nuclear materials to battle cancer. The fact is Israel could have nuked Iran out of existence yesterday, the day before and the day before. They could have done it every day since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Thousands of days with no attack. That's evidence that Israel has no interest in attacking a country in the region that poses little threat to it. However, should that country become a legitimate threat by developing nuclear weapons, combined with their stated desire to wipe Israel off the map, then Israel may feel it necessary to act preemptively. It's not a great path, but the least dangerous in the minds of people who feel constantly threatened. BTW - it's the U.S. military that has fought and died in many wars protecting your right to criticize them. A simple thank you is in order.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

I have to admit that I really don't know how to respond to mostly pointless rants.

Have a nice day.

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

"Palestinians in Israel are second-class citizens, at best"

At least they're not targeted for extermination. Funny how you'd gloss over that point by hawkins.

" Almost nothing our military does has anything to do with protecting me, or you."

Exemplifying that 'willful ignorance' you like to throw around. Again.

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