Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Is there a double standard?

News reports today indicate that an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by a bomb under his car. From CNN:

A nuclear scientist was killed in a blast in a Tehran neighborhood Wednesday morning, an Iranian news agency reported, the latest in a string of attacks against such scientists that Iran has blamed on Israel.

A motorcyclist placed a magnetic bomb under Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's Peugeot 405, the state-run IRNA news agency said. The blast also wounded two others, IRNA said.

State television channel Press TV reported later Wednesday that Roshan's driver, named as Reza Qashqaei, had died in a hospital from his injuries.

Roshan, 32, was a deputy director for commercial affairs at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province and a graduate of Iran's Oil Industry University, according to the semi-official news agency Fars.
As CNN notes, this is the latest in a string of targeted assassinations of Iranian scientists...

Now let's compare that to
Wednesday's attack followed a similar mode of operation as others that have killed nuclear scientists in the capital city.

Iranian nuclear physicist Daryoush Rezaie, 35, was killed in an attack last July in front of his Tehran home by assailants on a motorcycle, Iranian media reported.

And on January 12, 2010, Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed in a blast when an assailant stuck a bomb under his car. Majid Jamali Fashi, an Iranian, reportedly confessed to the bombing and was sentenced to death in August, IRNA reported at the time.
Now let's compare that to an event here in the U.S. last year. From Fox News: U.S. Ties Iran to Assassination Plot Against Saudi Diplomat on U.S. Soil (emphasis mine)...

Authorities foiled a plot that was directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday at a press conference.

A criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in New York Tuesday naming Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri as the two alleged plotters, both with ties to Iran. Arbabsiar has been jailed in New York since September and Shakuri remains at large.

The complaint alleges that Iran helped conceive, sponsor and direct the plot. Holder called the alleged plot a "flagrant violation of U.S. and international law" and said the U.S. will hold Iran accountable.

The allegations in the 21-page complaint may further isolate Iran, which has a track record of supporting international terrorism.
So Iran is accused of a plot to assassinate someone and we cry foul, complaining that this alleged plot is a flagrant violation of U.S. and international law. If the allegations are true, it certainly is. What then do we say about the successful assassination of not one, not two but three Iranian citizens in Iran over the course of a year? An unsuccessful plot against a foreign national on our soil is a major international incident that comes with an ominous warning directed at Iran but three successful assassinations of Iranian citizens on Iranian soil is met with a knowing smile and a wink? Can you imagine if someone assassinated some of our nuclear scientists or tried to block commerce from U.S. ports?

Look, Iran is a rogue nation led by a nutjob and I get that and yes the U.S. and Israel are democracies and the "good guys" and Iran is the "bad guys" but there comes a point where we have to start asking hard questions about our foreign policy. The Middle-East is on the brink of way yet again and everyone is pointing fingers at Iran for its dogged pursuit of nuclear technology (the technology that we possess and have used, that Israel posses, that France possesses, that Russia, China, India and Pakistan among others possesses). Meanwhile we are threatening to cut off their only real source of income, i.e. oil. Someone is assassinating their citizens on their own soil and the most likely culprit Israel is not denying responsibility. It is kind of understandable that Iran is being less than cooperative.

Maybe we need to take a step back, quit rattling our sabres and try to look at this situation from a position other that "might makes right", the attitude that the U.S. and Israel get to dictate who is or is not worthy of having nuclear technology and enforcing our edicts by economic sanctions, targeted assassinations and quite likely military action. If our intent is war and the removal of the current Iranian regime, we should declare war as provided for under the Constitution. If we are unwilling to do that perhaps we should find an alternate strategy because the path we are on is going to leave Iran with very few options other than capitulating to pressure from the U.S. and Israel or a devastating war that will lead to the deaths of thousands. That is not much of a choice.
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