Friday, August 05, 2011

Assassination of Iranian Academics, a Convenience for All

In the last two years, since the fraudulent elections in 2009, four assassinations in Iran, have grabbed the headlines of the world media. Headlines which have been duplicated in a relentless copy/paste exercise and articles which are prime examples of lazy journalism and factual inaccuracies.

Spiegel’s article on the latest round of these assassinations, that of Dariush Rezaee Nejad, is what prompted me to write this blog post. Spiegel concludes that the assassination was the work of Mossad, based on a reported smile by Ehud Barak during the interview and claims made by an unnamed, unknown and un-identifed Israeli 'intelligence source'. Yet a mountain of facts and evidence surrounding these assassinations are completely ignored and unreported. 

The first assassination of an Iranian academic where some kind of connection with the nuclear industry was assumed was that of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi or as one of these “accurate” news media outlets refers to: Mohammed Ali Masoudi !!

So lets examine who Ali-Mohammadi was and who would have benefitted most from his assassination. Ali-Mohammadi was in fact a Quantum field theorist and elementary particle physicist. His academic achievements included some 53 research articles and numerous translations of text books like the Modern Quantum  Mechanics. He was NOT in any way related to the nuclear weapon or the nuclear power industry, nor was his name on any sanctions list. More importantly, he was an active supporter of the Green Movement. Ali Mohammadi actually actively encouraged and organised his students to take part in the post-‘election’ protests. He was one of the 240 university professors who publicly and openly expressed their support for Mir Hussein Moussavi, one of the main leaders of the Green Movement, now under house arrest with his wife.

Professor Ali Mohammadi was also a council member of International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East (SESAME).  A regional experimental physics project which includes Israel as one of its members. It stretches the imagination to assume the Islamic Republic of Iran would include one of its key Nuclear Weapon/Power scientists, who could be a possible target for assassination by Western agencies, on this SESAME project, where he would regularly meet in conferences with colleagues from other countries, including Israel.

The manner of Ali Mohammadi’s assassination also does not suggest a clean professional hit. With the amount of explosives used to blow up his car, it was lucky that no other person close by was killed. His assassination which followed the assassination of Moussavi’s nephew, was a turning point in quashing the Green Movement in Iran.

Earlier this year, the regime paraded Farshid Jamali Fash on state TV, confessing to Ali Mohammadi’s murder and describing how he was trained by the Israelis. The Iranian regime claimed Jamali Fash was part of a 9 member team who were all arrested in connection with Ali-Mohammadi’s assassination. The TV confessions of Jamali Fash were full of contradictions and it later emerged that he was an ardent pro-Ahmadinejad devotee and a kick boxer member of the national team. I managed to talk to one of his former opponents in a tournament in Australia, who confirmed, Jamali Fash seemed to be very pro-regime. No more of those claimed to have been arrested by the Iranian intelligence minister were either named or paraded on TV. Almost 9 months after Jamali Fash’s TV appearance, there is still no news that he has been executed, as one would expect to have been the punishment of a crime of that calibre.

Next were two assassinations on November 29, 2010, which took place on the same day, that of Majid Shahriari and Fereydoon Abbas Davani.

Majid Shahriari, again was a theoretical quantum physicist and not on any sanctions lists, although unlike Ali Mohammadi, he had no interest in politics and supported neither side during the post-election protests, but he too worked alongside other regional scientists on the SESAME project.

He was assassinated by two assailants on a motor bike in broad daylight and in middle of the heavy morning traffic on his way to work. The assailants attached an explosive to his car and drove off. Both assassins got away. Shahriari was killed as the result of the explosion and his wife was injured. Pictures of Shahriari’s car after the explosion show the driver’s side door completely blown off by the explosion.

There was no appeal made by the state for the public to come forward as witnesses and until now no one has been arrested or charged with his murder.

I have come across one eyewitness myself however. A former employee of the interior ministry, who saw the whole thing and told me it bore all the hall marks of an Iranian regime hit squad.

Fereydoon Abbas Davani, the other target for the “assassination” that day, was connected to the Nuclear program however. He is a revolutionary guard member and he is on the sanctions list and indeed he is now the Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation. Unlike Ali-Mohammadi and Shahriari, it would have been understandable for Western agencies or Mossad to plan his assassination, but he was not even hurt! Immediately after the “assassination” he spoke at a Baseej gathering.

Javanonline, affiliated to Iran’s Revolutionry Guards, quickly gave too much detail about the assassinations and even confidently reported a third explosion had taken place. The news was later denied and the page removed.

Footage of Abbassi Davani’s car shown afterwards, show a few bullet holes on the bonnet and windscreen and unlike Shahriari’s car, his car was not blown up. If these assassinations were the work of highly sophisticated Western/Israeli sent hit squads, how is it that a theoretical research physicist not on the sanctions list is eliminated so efficiently but the more obvious target who is clearly connected to the nuclear program and is on the sanctions list, is not even hurt.

It seems Fereydoon Abbassi Davani’s assassination was a fake and staged attempt to justify the Western/Mossad hit squad story to give it more credence.

Last in this list was the assassination of Dariush Rezaee Nejad in front of his wife and daughter outside their home. The couple had returned after having picked up their daughter from a kindergarden birthday party. The initial reports in the Iranian dailies were detailed reports with pictures of the wrong man, Dariush Rezaee and not Dariush Rezaei Nejad.

Dariush Rezaee is a nuclear physics scientist but he was not even in Iran on that day, instead the man who was killed in front of his family, was an MSc student, studying power electrics at Khajeh Nassir Tousi university. He even had a Facebook page and on his Facebook page, he had included the dissident Iranian singer, Shajarian as one of his favourites. It is unthinkable that an Iranian scientist connected with Iran’s nuclear program would have a facebook page which shared his friends and family and their photos.

Rezaee Nejad also lived at Bani Hashem street, a poor part of Tehran and an unlikely residential area for an elite Iranian scientist connected with the nuclear program who could have been the target of Western agencies.

ِA mistaken identity was the only way the proponent of a Mossad hit squad could explain their James Bond type theories at first but then they resorted to another cock and bull story، that Rezaei Nejad’s research was to do with a trigger mechanism used in nuclear weapons! If all else fails this trigger mechanism always comes to the rescue. Just about anything, product or research can be included under trigger mechanism by these lacklustre Spiegel type journalists who once thought the Hitler diaries were real.

As early as February 2005, I have seen reports of Iran not only having acquired the trigger mechanism
but having successfully tested it too. Six years after having successfully tested the trigger mechanism, it seems all depended on an MSc student to finish his final year project. Media journalists who do not even know how a nuclear weapon trigger works and did not until yesterday even know who Dariush Rezaee Nejad was, suddenly seem to have read his final year project for his MSc certification and concluded that he was a legitimate target for a Mossad hit squad.

One day we may know why these Iranian academics were assassinated but until then, these assassinations seem to be a matter of convenience for all parties. The Iranian regime can assassinate individuals and blame it on Mossad and others. Israelis on the other hand, after their latest operational gaffs, seem to gloat on rumours that suggest their military operations are as awesome as ever and Western media seem happy with being content about lack of detailed reporting and appetite by their readers for James Bond stories.

Meanwhile the dreams of a young couple who had left the small town of Abdanan in the Ilam province for a better life is shattered and a young innocent girl who had been enjoying a birthday party is scarred for the rest of her life after having seen her loving devoted father murdered in front of her eyes.


René O'Deay said...

thank you so much for your research and report. I have been wondering about this, and suspected the same.
Sharing this on Facebook, twitter, etc.

Waybec said...

You probably voice what a lot of us have long since suspected Potkin. An inside IRI job to further deflect and raise the spectre of 'outside' enemies...

You're also right in that it suit's Isreal's war hawks right down to the ground too if they can just sit back and take silent cedit for it...?

No doubt the assassins will never get caught unless Khamanei's Gestapo suddenly need some poor innocent convenient patsy to confess to the crimes.

In the meantime, the security forces can get on with what they do best. I.e. Just idly stand by while the thug branch of the IRI get's away with it's usual heinous crimes - as the more important work like taking down satellite dishes or arresting girls with a hair out of place holding a water pistol can be done! Ha...

FrumiousFalafel said...

First, I'd like to say, your blog is wonderful and this article in particular was fantastic! It shows once again the utter laziness of the majority of journalists, especially when it comes to fact checking, name spelling, etc - I have had personal, direct experience with this, when my former wife became instantly famous many years ago for her research about something -- and I still have the collection of almost every major newspaper in the WORLD who ran a story about her discovery on their front page (including the NYT -- front page). It was collected and put together by a PR agency hired by the University. In any case, the number of inaccuracies, and then in the magazine articles which came a week later, and a month later, and the TV shows... ALL compounded mistake upon mistake. So I buy, hook,line and sinker the probability that all these facts you detail are true, and those of Der Spiegal are not.

I'd like to take you to task for one minor thing though -- as you say yourself while criticizing the generally anti-Israel Der Spiegal -- they based their theory of the Mossad as having been responsible for this most recent hit all because Barak ostensibly cracked a tiny smile(?) at some point in an interview!? I mean please (I'm agreeing with you wholeheartedly)! But what I'm slightly criticizing is your use of the word "gloat" to define the behavior of Israelis with respect to all these assassinations.

As I'm sure you know (judging by your intelligence in so many areas, especially international -- far more than myself) it's the policy of all disciplined, higher-level political figures in Israel to neither confirm nor deny any story or question involving the Mossad in connection to any alleged incident. If anyone breaks that, they are generally taken to task for it pretty quickly. So, I guess I'm not sure I'd choose the word "gloat" to define the "stance" of Israel. I think it's more "non-committal."

But don't allow that to take away from my overall compliments of your highly well written blog. You've done an excellent job.

Azarmehr said...

You are right about the Israeli government policy as with all other governments to a no blanket comment policy. I shoudl have made it clearer that I meant teh Israeli Press, many pf which have just copy/pasted the Spiegel article, like the Ynetnews and Haaretz, which add weight to Spiegel's uneducated article

Anonymous said...

It must be living hell to know you come from a society so corrupt that people's lives mean nothing!

Jared Israel said...

Potkin, you wrote:

"The Iranian regime can assassinate individuals and blame it on Mossad and others. Israelis on the other hand, after their latest operational gaffs, seem to gloat on rumours that suggest their military operations are as awesome as ever and Western media seem happy with being content about lack of detailed reporting and appetite by their readers for James Bond stories."

Your first point (about the IR leaders) is true; points two and three (about Israel and the Western media) are way off .

Regarding Israel, as usual when you write about Iran's anti-Israel accusations, you seem to find it necessary to bash Israel. And as usual, you provide no evidence for your attack. It's just obligatory.

Der Spiegel says Barak was gloating because he was smiling during some interview. I mean really! Who knows if he was smiling (there is no supporting photo in the article), and if he was, who knows why? All he reportedly said was that (as usual) Israel was not commenting about accusations from Iran.

Having agreed with Spiegel in your article that "Israelis" are 'gloating' over the charges, you then, in a comment, present as your example *not* some statement or action by some politician but rather your claim that two newspapers, Haaretz and Ynet, reprinted Spiegel's baloney without comment.

Ynet reprints lots of stuff about Israel, so if they reprinted this Spiegel garbage without comment so what? And as for Haaretz, given Spiegel's *very* well-known politics, if they reprinted the Spiegel article then they did it not to "gloat" about Israel's supposed prowess, but to attack the Israeli leaders -- to accuse them of being warmongers. Haaretz does that all the time. And you give this is an example of "Israeli's gloating" over the charges?

Your third point, that the Western media is happy to print stories without detail is also way off. Your example -- the Spiegel article -- is in fact *not* undetailed. It is very detailed. It is also very dishonest, relying on unnamed supposed sources to lend credibility to the absurd charges coming out of Iran. As an attack on Israel it is a) consistent with Spiegel's general line in recent times, which is much like that of Haaretz and b) unfortunately, also consistent with much of the Western media (e.g., the BBC.) Undetailed would be a big step up.

But the thing that diminishes your article the most is the unjustified attack on Israel at the end. That this attack is no minor aspect of the article is demonstrated by your title --"Assassination of Iranian Academics, a Convenience for All" -- meaning that, in response to Iran's policy of murder and lying accusations against Israel, you are blaming Iran AND Israel. And all apparently so that nobody could -- heaven forbid -- accuse you of not being anti-Israel.

Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

Azarmehr said...

I dont get accused of being anti-Israeli very often, in fact more often the other way round, but specifically in this case, I would be happy to see if one Israeli paper or website published the version of events I have outlined here

Jared Israel said...

Potkin, I didn't say you WERE anti-Israeli, I said, to be exact, that when you criticize Iranian regime accusations that Israel is assassinating Iranians, you always include your own comment that this suits the Israelis, and that you do this, as I wrote, "apparently so that nobody could -- heaven forbid -- accuse you of not being anti-Israel."

So that is not inconsistent with your statement, that mostly you are accused of being pro-Israeli. I think your obligatory bash of Israeli is a calculated move, not a result of your real thinking.

Regarding your point that it would be nice to see at least one Israeli paper publish your very intelligent points about the Iranian regime's tactic of killing its opponentts and blaming the always-useful Zionists, I agree. Perhaps they have, and it's just that you and I don't know it.

But whether or not the papers in Israel say it, the government should. MUST. 'No comment' is NOT the right response. Bitter condemnation is the right response. If that took place, it would be a most encouraging political development. If Israel were not afraid of opposing the West, which strongly favors the IR regime (despite some comments to the contrary, which are politically necessary) and therefore opposes Israel making itself a beacon to the Iranian opposition -- if Israel were free of that influence, your points, of which Israeli politicians are surely aware, would be blasted all over the place.

Unfortunately, with the West now openly allied with the Muslim brotherhood, which in turn is supported by the IR leaders, Israeli politicians are walking on eggshells.

Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

Naj said...

Azadmehr, for someone who has been last in Iran during the cultural revolution, you have too many "sources" and speak with too much confidence about the validity of 'your' journalism versus the sloppy media! Have they (MSM) not invited you yet, like Mr Sahimi, whose report you have borrowed from TehranBureau, to join the Iran-Expert journalist panels?

Anonymous said...

Come on! I am really disappointed. I used to think you are an intelligent blogger. Why are you copying and pasting rubbish conspirarcies distributed by Sepah? Have you now become a supporter of the Sepah?