By: Ryan Matthew Dernick
Friday Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted “the Islamist Republic will continue on that path.” This in reference to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Supreme Leader goes on to vow “to punish those who carried out Wednesdays bombing and those behind it.”
Iran State Television reported “two attackers riding by on a motorcycle stuck a magnetic bomb on the car of the Iranian Nuclear Scientist.”
Pieces of broken glass and debris lay strewn across the pavement this past Wednesday at the scene of a bombing in Tehran. The victim an Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, age 32. His recent death has acted to further ratchet up tensions with the Unites States and Iran amidst talk of further sanctions on the Middle Eastern Country in relation to its nuclear ambitions.
The Iranian Government called the act a ” terrorist attack” blaming Israel and the United States.The Iranian Supreme Leader further elaborates on those who conspired to commit this assassination “This cowardly terror has been designed or helped by the intelligence services of the CIA and Mossad and shows that the arrogant powers have reached a dead end in the face of the strong Iranian nation.”
Refuting the claims against the United States, U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton assured the international community “I want to categorically deny any U.S. involvement in any kind of act of violence inside of Iran.”
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta placated the troops in Texas on Thursday: “We we’re not involved in any way, in any way with regards to the assassination that took place there. I’m not sure who was involved .But I can tell you one thing that the United States was not involved in that kind of effort, thats not what the United States does.”
This is the latest in a string of attacks on Iranian nuclear officials. Two years ago a nuclear physics professor was killed when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded outside his home. Several months after that a pair of car bombings killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another while they were headed to work. In both cases Iranian officials also blamed the United States and Israel for the attacks and subsequent deaths. Iran has also been the victim of “Cyber Attacks”. In 2010 computers at Iranian nuclear facilities were infected with the stuxnet virus. It disrupted controls on centrifuges that were trying to enrich uranium. This past November an explosion destroyed part of a missile testing site however Iranian officials deemed that was an accident.
Just this week the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has begun enriching uranium at a second site near the city of Kong. This recent assassination along with the escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz show things are mounting toward an eventual conflict.
By Ryan Matthew Dernick
Israel and Washington accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says “our nuclear program is a peaceful drive to generate electricity so that the world’s fourth-largest oil producer can export more of its gas and crude.”
In a statement released by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he insists that the nuclear ambitions of his country are for purely peaceful purposes. Iranian Army Chief said in a public statement to the United States this past Monday during the Iranian Missile Tests in the Strait of Hormuz saying ” That the U.S. should not bring its aircraft carriers into the Gulf again.” The Iranian Army Chief goes on to say we are not in the business of warning America more than once.”
Iran has been conducting a barrage of naval drills in the Gulf in recent days including test-firing several missiles. These exercises were held near the Strait of Hormuz, through which around 20% or 1/6th of the world’s traded oil supply passes.
Tehran said on Monday that “mock exercises on shutting the strait had been carried out, although there was no intention of closing it.”
The U.N. Security Council has already brought four successions of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment ventures. Enriched uranium can be converted into nuclear weapons grade fissile material.
“These are the kinds of steps that we would like to see not just from our close allies and partners in places like Europe but from countries around the world”, according to US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
These sanctions include a ban on the supply of heavy weaponry and nuclear-related technology to Iran, a block on Iranian arms exports, and an asset freeze on key individuals and companies.
Sanctions against Iran Up to This Point
- Longstanding ban on all trade with Iran except for activities “intended to benefit the Iranian people”
- New sanctions against foreign firms dealing with Iran’s oil sector and central bank
- Restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichment
- Asset freeze on individuals and organisations linked with nuclear programme
- Export ban on natural gas technology
- Ban on sales of heavy weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran
- Iranian arms exports blocked, and asset freeze for key individuals and firms
- Cargo inspections to detect and stop Iran’s acquisition of illicit materials