Iran's development of nuclear weapons poses a grave threat to world stability and possibly an existential threat to this country's Middle Eastern ally, Israel. But how far can one go in efforts to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambition before going too far? Economic sanctions are one thing, but what about launching viruses to ravage Iranian computers? And how about the targeted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists?
That appears to be what happened Wednesday, when Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a supervisor at the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, was killed — reportedly by a car bomb that had been magnetically attached to his vehicle by a passing motorcyclist. That's the kind of clean, covert assassination method favored by Western intelligence agencies.
Roshan wasn't the first Iranian scientist to be targeted. At least two others have been killed (also by vehicle bombs) and a third injured within the last two years. Tehran's Security Council chief said Roshan's killing was "an act of the Zionists," and while we're not in the habit of believing such pronouncements, one would have to willfully ignore accounts of past covert Israeli activities not to at least suspect Israeli involvement — especially because the Israeli government has made little effort to deny it. The closest thing to an official statement from Jerusalem on the bombing was a Facebook post by Israeli military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai: "I don't know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear."