Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

What’s Behind the Assassination of Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist?

On Friday Iranian media reported that Iranian scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated. Though the details surrounding the killing are still unknown, the latest imperialist attack on Iran polarizes the situation in the Middle East for the incoming Biden Administration, which seeks to restore the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Facebook Twitter Share

On November 27, Iranian state media reported that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, considered by many to be the force behind Iran’s nuclear program, was fatally shot.

It’s currently unknown who is behind the attack on Fakhrizadeh. Israel is the most likely suspect, given that Israel has assassinated Iranian scientists in the past and Fakhrizadeh was mentioned by name by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a May 2018 press conference on Iran’s nuclear program. It’s also likely that the attack was backed by the United States. President Trump has already retweeted several reports on the assasination. 

Israel, with the support of the U.S., seems to be intent on making it harder for a return to Obama-style “soft” imperialism under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. Biden has indicated his interest in reviving the Iran nuclear deal as a way to de-escalate regional volatility and perhaps reorient resources toward other U.S. adversaries like China. Israel, on the other hand, fears the lifting of some sanctions and the return to the nuclear agreement could make it harder to contain Iran’s influence in the Middle East. Despite Israel’s alliance with Republican Party hawks in the pursuance of a harsher policy against Iran, it’s unlikely that the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Israel would be under question during a Biden Administration; an incoming administration that will be no less imperialist than Trump’s. Undoubtedly, however, Biden will now faces serious challenges since the news of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination.

For Iran, the assassination has exposed the vulnerabilities of the repressive theocratic regime with Iranian military leaders like Iranian Gen. Mohammad Bagheri seeing the assassination as a “huge blow to the Iranian defense establishment.” Within Iran, the assassination was viewed as seriously as the U.S. murder of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, earlier this year — though more poignantly Fakhrizadeh was assassinated within Iran. Both acts are the latest in a series of “maximum pressure” tactics employed by the Trump administration. Most notably, is the reimposition of tougher U.S. sanctions which have strangled the Iranian economy. These sanctions have been deadly to the  most disenfranchised parts of the population. Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei already vowed to retaliate against “those responsible” for the attack.

As recently as September, Iranian officials had indicated plans to also retaliate further for the death of Soleimani but Iran’s domestic crisis, aggravated by the Middle East’s worst coronavirus outbreak has had a debilitating effect on the entire country. 

Amid this escalation in tensions between Iran and its adversaries, Iran has another reason to worry. The Trump Administration is mediating the normalization of relations between Israel and Sunni Arab states, which share their hostility toward Iran.

As Israel and the Trump Administration attempt to weaken the chances of diplomacy by polarizing Iran, they carry out these acts of imperialist aggression with total impunity. U.S. imperialism, which will carry out its interests no matter the president, must be denounced by socialists. A special responsibility is held by those living in imperialist countries, who must side with the oppressed and exploited in Iran who are suffering under sanctions and the deepening pandemic. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Sam Carliner

Sam Carliner is a socialist with a background in journalism. He mainly writes for Left Voice about US imperialism. He also tweets about imperialism as @saminthecan.

Maryam Alaniz

Maryam Alaniz is a socialist journalist, activist, and PhD student living in NYC. She is an editor for the international section of Left Voice. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryamAlaniz

Twitter

Middle East-Africa

Dictating Rules from Below: The Re-Emergence of Workers’ Councils in Iran

Gianni Del Panta interviews Ida Nikou, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stony Brook State University in New York. Her dissertation focuses on the labor movement in Iran and how the neoliberal turn has impacted workers' rights and living conditions.

Gianni Del Panta

August 12, 2022

Gaza and Al-Aqsa Under Attack in Latest Zionist Israeli Military Onslaught

Over the weekend, the Gaza Strip was attacked by Zionist Israeli military forces and Al-Aqsa Mosque was stormed by ultra-nationalists. We need international solidarity in the streets for Palestine, demanding that not a penny more of imperialist governments’ money go to Israel.

Emma Lee

August 8, 2022

Biden Is Trying to Revitalize U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East

U.S. President Joe Biden’s tour of the Middle East aimed to limit Chinese and Russian influence, address the energy crisis, and secure the West’s imperialist interests.

Santiago Montag

July 20, 2022

Africa, the War in Ukraine, and European Gas Diplomacy

As a result of the war in Ukraine, Africa is becoming a potential source of energy that could eventually replace Russian fossil fuel exports to the EU. Between the risks of regional conflicts and climate change, the imperialist appetite for Africa has been renewed.

Philippe Alcoy

July 19, 2022

MOST RECENT

A young couple with their baby in front of the Capitol

Refugees Are Being Stranded in NYC – Both Parties Are to Blame

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending buses of refugees to New York City. As the refugee crisis worsens, the Left in the United States needs a clear strategy for solidarity.

Sam Carliner

August 15, 2022
Two Turkish military members stand in front of a tank with the Turkish flag in the foreground and another tank with military members is visible in the background.

Turkey’s Dirty War Rages in Kurdistan

Since the beginning of the year, Turkey has been waging a dirty war against Kurdistan, terrorizing the civilian population with chemical weapons and drone strikes. What’s behind the action, and how is Germany aiding the onslaught?

Tom Krüger

August 14, 2022
A black and white photograph of Paulo Freire.

A Critique of ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’

Recently a debate has been taking place inside the recently formed Revolutionary Socialist Organizing Project (RSOP), which centers around revolutionary organization, what methods are needed to politically develop the revolutionary vanguard and the broader working-class and oppressed masses, and other issues.

Kendall Gregory

August 14, 2022
Demonstrators chant in front of the White House during a climate march on October 12, 2021.

Democrats’ ‘Climate Bill’ Puts Polluters before People and the Planet

Congressional Democrats, supported by President Biden, just passed a major spending bill focused on climate change, health care, and taxes. But it’s no win for the climate or the working class.

Robert Belano

August 13, 2022