Posted by Fullcouch on January 12, 2012, 12:00pm
Somebody’s got to have the sense and courage to bring down the Iranian nuke program. While the world sits on their hands, Israel is forced to act alone.
CS Monitor – Israel has emerged as a key suspect in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran yesterday, thought to be the latest strike in a covert war that has targeted technicians, military plants, and computer systems at the heart of Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment program.
While Israel has maintained its official policy of ambiguity, analysts here say that Israel’s Mossad is very likely involved in a joint venture among foreign intelligence agencies that want to ratchet up pressure on Iran as new economic sanctions bite. They also suggest that while such attacks may risk an escalation of hostilities, the calculation makes sense for the Jewish state, faced with the potential threat of a nuclear-armed enemy in its neighborhood.
Few believe that the strikes will ultimately deny Iran of its goal of nuclear capability, but observers credit the covert campaign with slowing down Iran’s nuclear progress over years, giving more time for diplomats and pushing back the possibility of a military strike.
“If anyone has a strategy to slow down the process, it’s a wise strategy,’’ says Meir Elram, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies who considers assassinations as a legitimate tool in the fight against Iran. “If you weigh it against the risks, compared to an all-out assault on Iranian installations, it’s a much more measured and perhaps constructive tactic in the long run.”
Experts suggest that those responsible for the attack might be more than one foreign intelligence agency as well as local groups in Iran opposed to the Islamist regime.
In the distant past, Israeli intelligence agencies have teamed up with groups in Morocco and Algeria to fight militants, says Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar Ilan University.
“Judging by the sophistication, the number of events, and the widespread network throughout Iran, it makes sense to see it as a combined operation,’’ he says.
A total of four Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in two years, and a fifth was targeted but escaped. Over the same period of time, computers managing the enrichment efforts have been paralyzed by two computer viruses – Stuxnet and Duqu. In recent months, three explosions have sown destruction at Iranian military sites believed to be linked to the nuclear program.