Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist and a brigadier general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was assassinated on the outskirts of Tehran on 27 November 2020. It is one of the most high profile killings of an Iranian regime figure just within a year since the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, in Baghdad on 3 January 2020 through a targeted US drone strike ordered by former US President Trump. While the Zionist Israeli regime, the springboard of US imperialism in the region, is widely agreed to be the perpetrator of the latest brutal killing, it was clearly encouraged by the Pentagon rulers. It has once again exposed how the US imperialists and Zionist Israel are bent upon targeting the countries like Iran which refuse to bend before their dictates and brigandage. The then US President Donald Trump’s immediate approval of the incident, on the one hand, once again confirms the US-Israel game plan to sabotage the development of science and technology in Iran in general, and, on the other, points to every possible effort to disrupt peace or normalization of relations with Iran by former Trump administration, in particular.
Fakhrizadeh was targeted long back
Fakrizadeh had a track record of scientific innovations and led a team that developed one of the country’s first kits for coronavirus diagnosis. Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran, was the former head of Iran’s Physics Research Center. It is not the first time that Fakhrizadeh faced an attempt on his life. He escaped an attempted assassination a few years ago. According to the US and Israel, Fakhrizadeh monitored Iran’s nuclear weapons programme in the 1990s and early 2000s and had been a key figure in the country’s nuclear research programme and the Defence Ministry. In April 2018, Mossad, Israeli spy agency, reportedly stole documents of nuclear research from Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately linked Fakhrizadeh’s name with it.
Early last month, when Trump was stated to have raised the possibility of attacking Iran to disable its nuclear programme, US military and other senior officials warned of potential retaliation against US troops in the region where anti-US mentality is growing day by day . Still, Israel Defence Forces were allegedly instructed to prepare for a possible US strike on Iran before Trump leaves office.
US-Israel plotting against Iran
Israel also is intent on keeping US-Iran confrontation alive as Iran is considered a better militarily equipped country than others and has been resolutely opposing US domination in the Middle East. So, the Zionist Israeli rulers backed by the US imperialism have been seeking to increase pressure on Iran for waging a full-blown war. But, in the situation obtaining at present the US imperialists are exercising a bit caution and trying to go step by step with a full-drawn plan of decimating Iran’s military capabilities before the final assault just like the way the US rulers virtually enfeebled Saddam Hussein militarily through arm-twisting efforts and then occupied Iraq.
As mentioned, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is not the first Iranian scientist assassinated by US-Israel joint ferocity. At least four others were killed during the past decade and the pattern of killing has in all cases been typical – either the victims were on their way to or from work. All these killings are clearly aimed at sabotaging Iran’s nuclear energy ambitions. Pertinent to mention here is that in September 2005, in the crucial meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the US and its European Union allies moved a resolution alleging that Iran, a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), had failed on a number of instances to meet its obligations under the NPT safeguards agreement.” The resolution which was incidentally supported by India, also mentioned that there is “absence of confidence” about Iran’s nuclear programme being “exclusively for peaceful purposes.” Whereas the resolution accused Iran of non-compliance with the IAEA norms and concealing facts about its nuclear activities, the IAEA Director General himself actually informed on 2 September 2005, that “good progress has been made in Iran’s ability to confirm certain aspects of Iran’s declarations.” He also confirmed that nine issues out of ten had been resolved. Yet the US imperialists and their associates went ahead in framing charges of ‘non-compliance’ against Iran and that too of such a magnitude as to threaten international peace and security.
US aim to disarm Iran
The fact is, Iran had repeatedly said that it is only keen to have nuclear capability for peaceful means. Even after adoption of IAEA resolution, Iran offered to scale down its nuclear activities. While agreeing to sit and talk on any issue with anybody including the US imperialist regime or its protégé Israel, if there is respect and fairness, Iran has also made it clear that if someone wants to talk rudely and in a domineering manner with daggers drawn, no independent sovereign country having minimum self-respect can accept the same. Following that, in 2013 the Obama-led US administration asked Israel to discontinue the line of assassinations as it started talks with Tehran that led two years later to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 2015 with six world powers – the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. But the next US President Donald Trump unilaterally had withdrawn the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018, violating the agreement. The European allies of US tried to keep the agreement intact. But Trump threatened them with trade war tactics, dissociated with them on this issue and imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iran in an effort to force it back to the bargaining table, which Iran refused to do. Iran started a fresh effort on nuclear activities and increased stockpiling of low enriched uranium beyond the limit set in JCPOA. The Donald Trump administration has been relentlessly and extremely aggressive against Iran. Besides imposing sanctions, it waged various attacks on Iran including ordering a drone strike on 3 January 2020 that killed its most powerful general, Qassem Suleimani, as mentioned. Trump is reported to have asked for military options in Iran, in the aftermath of his election defeat. The assassination of Fakhrizadeh has been purported to exacerbate the veiled threat to Iran and pressurize it give up its nuclear build up programme. In fact, a section of the US administration has already aired a view that the death of Mr. Fakhrizadeh, the latest in a string of such mysterious killings of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, would send a chilling message to the country’s other top scientists working on that programme.
Next comes a basic question. Backed by US imperialism, its mentor, Zionist Israel has long cited its pledge to destroy Iran, demanding that it has the right to defend itself by blocking Iran from becoming a military nuclear power. If US imperialism and its allies pose constant war threat to countries that decline to capitulate to them, do not those countries have inalienable right to defend themselves by building up necessary military power? While the US imperialists are asking other countries to give up nuclear programme, have they themselves abandoned or even restricted their own production of sophisticated lethal weapons including nuclear arms? Are not they continuously upgrading their nuclear armoury and regularly coming out with innovations in the category of mass destructive weapons. US so far has conducted as many as 1,054 tests by official count, which far exceed the number of similar tests by others taken together. Now, US, which had earlier threatened its opponents of star war, plans to set up the first nuclear reactor on the moon by the end of 2026. An apprehension is expressed by many that perhaps helium-3, which is present in large quantity on moon’s surface, would be used by the US to produce energy by nuclear fusion and thus would possibly turn the moon into a production site of nuclear weapons. This intended lunar nuclear centre might become military projects to give US imperialists the position of a space superpower.
Who is known for military aggression against other countries?
The point relevant here is that Has Iran or any of the countries which the US imperialists have long branded as ‘axis of evil’ or ‘enemy states’, used any nuclear weapon or weapons of mass destruction against any other country, militarily aggressed and occupied others’ territories, set up numerous military bases on foreign lands to launch attack on foreign territories, sent naval force equipped with deadly nuclear weapons to patrol along the shores of other countries, violated the airspace of any sovereign country, strafed and raided others’ territories with unmanned drones, engineered coups to bring about regime changes and install puppet governments in other countries, orchestrated secret assassination or abduction of key persons of foreign lands, set up military bases round the world, permanently posted military in various countries, threatened other sovereign countries with armed interventions, star wars and nuclear warfare if they dared to disobey their dictates? It is relevant to mention that after the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the socialist camp under Stalin’s leadership, to free the earth from the horror of war, gave call for complete and all-out disarmament including full nuclear disarmament immediately after USSR had quickly produced atom bomb itself against looming US imperialist threat. The peace loving people of the world stood up and lent total support to the proposal. But the imperialist bloc led by US imperialism did not pay any heed to people’s opinion across the globe and instead stuck to developing yet more sophisticated nuclear weapons and pursued all sorts of nefarious activities.
Then what is the propriety of the US-Israel combine to ask Iran to dissuade from rebuilding the stockpile of nuclear fuel that it gave up in 2015? It is true that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was a key figure in running Iran’s entire nuclear programme. So, his killing might be a temporary setback, but it is not likely to jeopardise Iran’s nuclear programme. Previous cyberattacks by the US and Israel, as also assassinations of scientists, had not been able to do so.
US imperialists unbriddled in absence of socialist camp
To those closely observing world events and possessing a broad democratic outlook, it is not very difficult to understand the motive of the US imperialists. In absence of the powerful socialist camp which, notwithstanding many limitations and shortcomings it suffered from under revisionist leadership first assuming power in USSR after Stalin and then in China in absence of Mao Zedong, the socialist camp had continued to be a bulwark of peace as against war and war-mongering, the US imperialists have arrogated to themselves the role of a super-authority authorized to rule the entire world like an emperor. Any country declining to obey their mandates or carry out their behest have been immediately bracketed as ‘inimical to peace and democracy’ and targeted for military intervention and blitzkrieg. Everyone is aware that, among other things, the gigantic oil conglomerates and their bid to control production and distribution of oil, bankrolled the post-Second World War military and economic rise of US imperialism. In the unipolar world, the US imperialists and their associates are unbriddled in their bid to consolidate their absolute hold on the rich oilfields of West Asian countries by flexing their economic and military muscles. By militarily overrunning sovereign independent Iraq, flouting all international laws and trampling underfoot the barest precepts of democracy, the US and its allies have managed to regain control over the oil business in that country, which threatened to slip out of their control in first in 1991, and then finally in 2002, with Saddam Hussein taking a firm anti-US imperialist stand. After illegal occupation of sovereign Iraq, the US imperialists were keen to capture the other oil fields of the West Asian countries one by one. But much to their chagrin, Iran has refused to bow down before the US decree.
Since then, the US imperialists have upped their ante much more aggressively against Iran and pulled the strings from behind to precipitate unrest inside Iran, pit one section of the toiling people against another and instigate internecine conflicts so that they, on the plea of preventing human rights violation, curbing terrorism and scuttling subversion of democracy could meddle in the internal affairs of the country leading gradually to launch a full-fledged military offensive to ‘gift democracy’ to the Iranian people. This is the blueprint of international gangsterism the US leaders have designed to buttress their heinous class interest.
War a must for US imperialists to keep its economy rolling and political domination
Apart from grabbing the vast oil resources, there are other reasons also for the US imperialists to unleash a combination of war games, conspiratorial games and spy games against Iran and other West Asian countries. In order to somehow stave off the acute insoluble market crisis endemic of capitalist economy, the US imperialists, and for that matter all imperialist powers, big or small, are compelled to resort to frantic rearmament and militarization of industry so that increased military consumption to some extent artificially stimulates the sagging economy. More militarized is the economy, more rabidly world imperialism led by US imperialists is precipitating war in one country after another, directly and indirectly. Another vital economic aspect is that the US dollar, as we know, is required by every oil-importing country. This is the reason why the central banks of most of these countries keep their foreign exchange reserves in US dollars. Thus more dollars are circulated outside the US or invested by foreign owners in US assets. Consequently, the rest of the world has to provide the US with more goods and services in exchange for these dollars. The US can pay its debt to other countries just by printing its own money. This very special status of the dollar is threatened with some of the key oil producing countries switching over from dollar to Euro for trade in oil and gas. Iraq wanted to do the same just before it was invaded. But Iran dared to move out of its dependency on the US dollar for its energy revenue when it faced sanctions in 2006 and thus considerably undermined the demand for US dollar in the world market. The US imperialists fear that if other oil exporting countries follow suit, the consequences will be disastrous for them.
But the democratic-minded peace-loving people of the world, both in imperialist countries and elsewhere, need to draw a lesson from these ghastly killings. They need to stand united against the war, sanction, sabotage, assassination, military aggression and forcible occupation of other lands by US imperialism and its allies in avid pursuit of their imperialist machination and force them to take their hands off from Iran and any other sovereign country.
(Information Sources: International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 10, Number 2, Autumn/Winter 2005,The Guardian dated 27 November 2020, 01-12-20 The Hindu; Fars News Agency via AP November 27, 2020; Workers World dated 30 November 2020)