by Sergey Balmasov
October 26, 2011
Western and Israeli media were quick to announce that the 35-year-old Iranian Dariush Rezai killed on July 23 in Tehran was a prominent nuclear physicist who played an important role in the development of Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian authorities have confirmed the fact of murder. However, according to the latest data, he was not a professor of nuclear physics but a student named Dariush Rezainedzhad, shot by mistake. Terrorists allegedly have confused his name with that of the scientist they were after.
It is not clear who was killed in reality. Both Western and Iranian sources have various inaccuracies in their reports. Take, for example, the assertion of the Western and Israeli channels that the individual was a 35-year professor of nuclear physics. The Iranian news agencies after the incident were giving conflicting information. There were discrepancies as to whether he had a degree, as well as the type of his occupation.
Some of the sources pointed out that the victim had nothing to do with nuclear physics and studied electronics. Iranian media quoted an interview with the rector of the “Hajj” university Majid Kasemi, where the murdered student allegedly studied. According to him, Rezainedzhad was a brilliant young scientist, whose assassination demonstrates concern of Iran’s enemies with the country’s rapid scientific and technological progress.
In any case the reaction of Western and Israeli media makes it clear that the aim of the terrorists once again were prominent figures among Iranian scientists involved in the development of the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic. Iranian news agency Fars quoted in this connection the Chairman of Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, who accused the U.S. and Israel of this murder. This is by far not the first accusation against American and Israeli intelligence agencies.
The first “loud” statement about the special operations of American and Israeli intelligence agents against Iranian scientists emerged in 2007. It was connected with the fact that in early 2006, the U.S. administration made a number of anti-Iranian statements, and claimed that Iran was a major sponsor of the international terrorism, that its actions were the most serious threat to the United States and that Washington was ready, if necessary, to destroy the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic. Even more radical proposals were heard from the Israeli experts and politicians who proposed massive air strikes at the Iranian nuclear facilities.
Presumably, one of the first such operations of the Israeli “Mossad” was the destruction of a 44-year old Hasanpur Ardashir, a leading Iranian scholar who worked at a nuclear facility in Isfahan. He died in the same year under mysterious circumstances (the official version was gas poisoning). However, there were other cases of mysterious departure of his other colleagues to another world.
Now the secret is getting out. For example, on February 2009, British and Italian newspapers wrote about the Israel’s ongoing “secret war” against the nuclear scientists in Iran.
British Daily Telegraph reported about the statements made by a representative of the U.S. intelligence Reva Bala, according to whom Israel and the U.S. decided to concentrate on slowing down the Iranian nuclear program by means of terror against its key figures, as well as the sabotage “aimed at the interruption of the supply chain of the required raw materials.” A case in point is the creation of front companies by Israel that allegedly supplied to Iran faulty equipment and raw materials.
In turn, the Italian La Repubblica wrote that such a decision was taken at the time when the beginning of an open war against Iran was delayed for political reasons. First, Obama tried to change the image of the United States and did not want to start a new war at the time when he wanted to finish the Iraq campaign and change the situation in Afghanistan. Second, Washington had doubts about the rapid defeat of Iran and fears of a sharp aggravation of the situation in the Middle East.
Generally, there is nothing surprising in these reports. The Western media wrote that the “Mossad” has already committed murders of scientists in other countries. This, in particular, was the elimination of Canadian scientist Gerald Bull, who developed the well-known supergun for Saddam Hussein. The latter was hoping to use it for firing at Israel, as well as a series of attacks against a group of German scientists who left for the service of Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and were engaged in the development of the Egyptian missile program.
However, the mysterious death of Ardashir Hasanpur did not end the troubles of the Iranian nuclear physicists. On January 12, 2010 Professor Masoud Ali-Mohammadi who taught neutron nuclear physics at the University of Tehran was killed in a motorcycle bomb blast in a suburb of Tehran.
In October of the same year, Iranian Sunni terrorist separatist group “Jundullah” kidnapped Iranian nuclear physicist Amir Hossein Shirane. On November 28, he suddenly “surfaced”, giving an interview to TV channel “Al Arabiya”, where he stated that the ultimate goal of Iran’s nuclear program was to build a nuclear bomb.
The very next day a double attack against Iran’s leading nuclear physicists was organized in Tehran. As a result, Professor Majid Shahriar who worked in the department of nuclear activities at the Tehran Beheshti University was killed. Professor of nuclear physics Fereydoon Abbasi engaged in specialized research in the Defense Ministry of Iran was wounded. Allegedly, after his recovery he headed the nuclear program of Iran.
However, will the strategy chosen by the opponents of Iran yield results? Many military experts believe that it can only delay the inevitable for a few years. Iran, with the help of China, has streamlined the training of nuclear physicists and the place of a murdered scientist is immediately taken by someone else. In this regard, the former CIA official Vincent Cannistraro believes that the secret mission will not achieve its objectives and will not lead to serious political changes. According to him, one could not kill several people and hope to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.
However, any delay is very dangerous. Every time terrorist acts were aimed at Iranian nuclear physicists, Tehran reacted quite violently and blamed American and particularly Israeli intelligence services for the incidents. As a result, in a series of successful special operations many terrorists of “Dzhandalla” group have been caught.
There were even reports on the arrest of an entire group of agents of “Mossad.” However, the last successful assassination attempt aimed at an Iranian scientist proves once again that the local counter-intelligence has failed to seize the hand of the enemy that continues to cause death. Who knows where, when and in what direction will they strike again?
Based on the above-mentioned facts, neutralization of terrorist subversion network is a priority for Iran whose intelligence agencies made a number of mistakes, including failure to provide reliable protection to the Iranian scientists.
The analysis of all assassinations of 2010-2011 makes the following clear: 1) the murder and attempted murder are always committed near the homes of the scientists; 2) the attacks are directed against the vehicles of nuclear physicists, and 3) terrorist attacks are always committed with the use of motorcycles that are mined or used as a quick means of transportation by terrorists.
Of course, banning travel on motorcycles would be an overkill. However, a more rigorous accounting and control for those who purchase them would not be amiss. In addition, the Iranian secret services should further tighten the control over any foreign exchange transactions in the country.
Obviously, there is nothing impossible in safeguarding the pride of the Iranian nation. Iran should take the place of its scientists’ residence under special protection. One solution to the problem is taking the scientists into the specially protected camps. However, this is not an absolute solution. The Islamic Republic should be ready that at some point the potential enemy will strike at such towns in the first place.