If Iran’s goal is to convince the world its nuclear program is not aimed at creating a weapon to use against Israel, it’s going about it the wrong way. Tehran’s government-run Farsi News Agency has published an interview with the widow of one the nuclear scientists who was recently killed under mysterious circumstances that most observers believe is the work of Israel’s Mossad or some group in its employ. But rather than attempt to tug at the heartstrings of the West or to convince the world her husband was innocent of any intention of using his work to attack the Jewish state, Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani’s statement will have quite the opposite effect.
According to Kashani, her late husband, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, a chemistry professor and a deputy director of commerce at Natanz uranium enrichment facility until he was killed last month, had strong feelings about his work: “Mostafa’s ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel.”
Though Iran’s apologists continue to attempt to cast doubt on intelligence sources that have made clear the regime’s goals, what comes out of Tehran continues to feed the world’s fears about the ayatollahs’ intentions. The piece described the late scientist as a “martyr” for Iran. But what is striking about this and other Iranian accounts of the men targeted for assassination because of their work on Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons is the regime’s lack of interest in trying to prove the victims were working on peaceful uses of nuclear power. It is to be expected that all those speaking to the government-run press in Iran must pay lip service to the regime’s obsession with Israel, but the widow’s statement merely acknowledges what is common knowledge in Iran and elsewhere. Israel remains the focus of the Islamist government’s hate and is the ultimate target of any weapon their scientists can produce.
While some have characterized Israel’s alleged role in the assassinations of Iran’s nuclear scientists as terrorism, the regime makes little secret of their desires. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently said, “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” When placed in that perspective, any person who was dedicated to Israel’s destruction and who was active in a program whose goal is to place a nuclear weapon in the hands of such a person as Khamenei is committing a crime and should be dealt with in the same manner with which the Obama administration dispatches al-Qaeda terrorists. The targeted killing of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast is no different than the terrorists marked for death by American missiles.