This article in the by Mark Perry in Foreign Policy lends credence to the fact that the Israeli Intelligence Agency Mossad is behind the assassination of Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Rosham. In short, Israeli Mossad operatives disguised themselves as CIA operatives to recruit Pakistan based Jundallah terrorist to kill people in Iran. U.S. officials are, of course, trying to distance themselves from these acts of terrorism against the Iranian populace and scientific community. Defense Sec. Leon Panetta asserted the U.S. wasn’t involved at a town hall event in Fort Bliss, TX, saying, “We have some ideas as to who might be involved, but we don’t know exactly who was involved, but I can tell you one thing: The United States was not involved in that kind of effort. That’s not what the United States does.” With the allegations pointing to Israel, perhaps the upshot of this is the closing of Perry’s article:
What has become crystal clear, however, is the level of anger among senior intelligence officials about Israel’s actions. “This was stupid and dangerous,” the intelligence official who first told me about the operation said. “Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us. If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.”
If the allegations are true then the U.S. officials have every right to question our strategic alliance with Israel. Daniel Larison rightfully asks what the impact would be if the Israeli and American roles had been reversed in this situation. Israel would probably have blown its roof off. Israel is dependent on U.S. government support, but it has seemed like the other way around for quite a while now.
I think the negative ramifications of the attacks on Iranian scientists could very well be much more damaging than anything they could do to impair an Iranian nuclear program in search of nuclear weapons. Four scientists have been assassinated in the past two years. This is not a very serious dent in the program. I’m sure it has each and every one of Iran’s nuclear scientists looking behind their back, but the real problem here is public sentiment and the fear of reprisals. I does not really matter the U.S. is not, even though they very well could be, behind the attacks, but if the forces that be in Iran act on this, American lives could be endangered. It could even force the Iranian nuclear program to move underground, to actually try to enrich uranium even further, as it thinks the program is in imminent danger. Or it could provoke an Iranian attack on Israel, forcing the U.S. to respond, and the likely demolition of Iranian state power. Any hopes that Green Revolution anti-state youths would respond to economic sanctions or attacks against the nuclear program won’t materialize because they see nuclear power in nationalistic terms, and economic sanctions hurt civilians more than anyone. The government will be able to pull in support against outside forces instead of needing to fear protests from its citizens. In any case, these extrajudicial killings seem moving away from a policy that wants to stay away from conflict. Rather towards the complete opposite.
And so they have; EAWorldview:
The Foreign Ministry has asserted in a letter, handed to the Swiss Ambassador, “We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA. The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents.