UPDATES

Iran’s nuclear scientists are no civilians

Feb 23, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Iran's nuclear scientists are no civilians
news_item/16498822_BG1.jpg

Following the recent deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists, a number of people seem to have not only attributed their killings to Israel, but also condemned them as the murder of “innocent civilians” or even “terrorism” (for an explanation of why the killings may not have been Israel, see Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi — soon to be visiting Australia — here). The characterisation of the scientists connected to Iran’s nuclear program as “civilians”, however, is false. The International Atomic Agency report on Iran’s nuclear program released late last year detailed extensively how the Iranian nuclear program falls under Iran’s military complex, summarised in the image below (click to enlarge).

 

Iranian nuclear program hierarchy

 

Providing even more proof of the tangible threat posed by the nuclear scientists, journalist Michael Totten has come across an interview by Iranian state media outlet Fars News with the wife of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, one of the assassinated scientists. The interview reveals that her husband was working on the project in order to kill Israelis.

TEHRAN (FNA)- The wife of Martyr Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, who was assassinated by Mossad agents in Tehran in January, reiterated on Tuesday that her husband sought the annihilation of the Zionist regime wholeheartedly.

“Mostafa’s ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel,” Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani told FNA on Tuesday.

As Totten observes, this means that the Israelis were arguably acting in self-defence if they were in fact the assassins.

So he wasn’t just constructing something that could theoretically be used as a genocide weapon. He was constructing something that he wanted to use as a genocide weapon. Intent matters, not just in war, but also in the courtrooms of liberal democracies.

If the Israelis were, indeed, the ones who took him out, they were acting in self-defense. It ought to go without saying that the Israelis perceived it that way all along, but it’s worth noting that the slain scientist’s own family and government are now legitimizing that point of view.

Fars News is representative of the Iranian regime and its intended message. That it is boasting of the nuclear scientist’s intention of “annihilating” Israel is extremely concerning, especially as Iran has reportedly already made plans for its nuclear strike on Israel — a fact that former US Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams recently pointed out:

Under this pre-emptive defensive doctrine, several Ground Zero points of Israel must be destroyed and its people annihilated. Forghani cites the last census by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics that shows Israel has a population of 7.5 million citizens of which a majority of 5.7 million are Jewish. Then it breaks down the districts with the highest concentration of Jewish people, indicating that three cities, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, contain over 60 percent of the Jewish population that Iran could target with its Shahab 3 ballistic missiles, killing all its inhabitants.

In any regular situation, scientists are civilians and would never be legitimate military targets; however the Iranian situation is far from “regular”. If there is any sort of line where a person ceases to be a civilian and becomes a combatant, it is hard to imagine that it has not been crossed by a scientist who is knowlingly developing an extremely deadly weapon with the intention of using it to destroy an entire nation.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Palestinian Red Crescent workers from Al-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on January 10, 2024 (Image: Shutterstock)

Hamas’ impossible casualty figures

Mar 28, 2024 | Update
455daec3 C2a8 8752 C215 B7bd062c6bbc

After the Israel-Hamas ceasefire for hostages deal

Nov 29, 2023 | Update
Screenshot of Hamas bodycam footage as terrorists approach an Israeli vehicle during the terror organisation's October 7, 2023 attack in southern Israel, released by the IDF and GPO (Screenshot)

Horror on Video / International Law and the Hamas War

Oct 31, 2023 | Update
Sderot, Israel. 7th Oct, 2023. Bodies of dead Israelis lie on the ground following the attacks of Hamas (Image: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Israel’s Sept. 11, only worse

Oct 11, 2023 | Update
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu (r) gets his long-awaited face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in New York (Photo: Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office)

Netanyahu meets Biden, other world leaders, in New York

Sep 27, 2023 | Update
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who gave an address on Aug. 28 threatening the US and laying out the Iranian-led axis's new "unity of the arenas" doctrine. (Photo: Shutterstock, mohammad kassir)

US-Iran prisoner swap deal set to go through

Sep 12, 2023 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Screenshot 2024 04 11 At 1.28.31 Pm

“You have to be very careful what you wish for”: Joel Burnie discusses FM Penny Wong’s comments on a Palestinian state on Sky News

Screenshot 2024 04 11 At 12.32.49 Pm

FM Penny Wong is “reinforcing extremism”: Dr Colin Rubenstein on Sky News

A destroyed section of Al-Shifa Hospital (image: screenshot)

The tragic history of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital

Ma60tyfA

AIJAC “profoundly disagrees” with FM Penny Wong’s comments on recognising Palestinian statehood

Image: Twitter

Australia’s maverick response to WCK tragedy looking increasingly irrational

Screenshot 2024 04 11 At 1.28.31 Pm

“You have to be very careful what you wish for”: Joel Burnie discusses FM Penny Wong’s comments on a Palestinian state on Sky News

Screenshot 2024 04 11 At 12.32.49 Pm

FM Penny Wong is “reinforcing extremism”: Dr Colin Rubenstein on Sky News

A destroyed section of Al-Shifa Hospital (image: screenshot)

The tragic history of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital

Ma60tyfA

AIJAC “profoundly disagrees” with FM Penny Wong’s comments on recognising Palestinian statehood

Image: Twitter

Australia’s maverick response to WCK tragedy looking increasingly irrational

SORT BY TOPICS