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What About Iran’s Assassinated Nuclear Scientists?

Now that the nuclear deal is on the table, the United States, Britain, France and Germany should help Tehran track down, arrest and bring to justice all those suspected operatives that were involved in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. That is if they really are after rapprochement with Tehran.

Since 2007, the culprits have been given state protection in return for their "valuable information and services.” At the time, some countries helped exfiltrate these murderers from Iran and the region. They used ratlines to escape Iran to places such as Israel, Europe and even the United States.

The deadly attacks began in 2007, so the race to catch the culprits hasn’t been lost yet. In fact, catching and bringing them to trial has to become a priority now that a nuclear deal is being fully implemented. After all, the "historic deal” has to be about international cooperation and not further enmity!

The timing of the negotiations invites questions about the role of proxies too. Iran was busy negotiating with the West when the assassinations were carried out. According to mainstream media in the West, the killings were a desperate attempt by Israel and the terrorist group the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO) to sabotage the talks.

Five nuclear scientists were murdered and several others injured in professional attacks. An obvious motive was to kill the talks, stop any progress in nuclear activities, and pave the way for an all-out war. It was also designed to demonstrate that Iran’s enemies had a long reach and could  identify and kill top specialists in modern warfare. The MKO denies any involvement but Israeli officials and commentators have confirmed the MKO-Israeli connection.

According to the Western media, "The deadly attacks were carried out by the MKO, a terrorist group that is financed, trained and armed by the US army, the CIA and Israel’s secret service Mossad.” They cite senior Obama administration officials as confirming that the MKO is responsible for the killings. Some of the culprits arrested in Iran have made similar confessions.

Before and after the fall of Saddam, the MKO had a military base in Iraq. The group later established shadowy connections with the US occupation authorities, often through American contractors. This allowed Washington to deny it was working with a group designated as "terrorist" by its own State Department in 1997 –  though that designation was lifted later.

While listed as a terror group, MKO members received training from the Joint Special Operations Command in Nevada. During the confrontation between Tehran and Washington over the nuclear program, the MKO was attractive to CIA and Mossad as it already had committed adherents on the ground in Iran.

It is naïve to assume the MKO was the only player in the covert war with Iran. There were others such the American and Israeli intelligence agencies. Without their much-needed  support and intelligence, the MKO would have never been able to carry out the attacks.

Some might say the historic deal with the P5+1 means forgive and forget. True, prospects might be a lot better than they have been for a long time. But it doesn’t change the fact that the scientists’ families are still suffering. They want justice and they want justice to be served now.

This could only happen if Washington is prepared to help Tehran bring the perpetrators to account. That’s the best possible way for Washington to prove that it had thing to do with the assassinations and that the covert war between Iran and its enemies is ending.

With US Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Tel Aviv this is yet to be the case. According to the Pentagon Chief, attacking Iran out of nowhere is one the best things about the nuclear deal. In his words, "One of the reasons this deal is a good one is that it does nothing to prevent the military option. The US and Israel could agree to disagree about the merits of the plan, but that the planning for an aggressive war against Iran would continue.”

By: Kayhan.ir Int’l Staff Writer,

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