On Monday, Nov. 30, it was reported that a top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in Tehran. Accusations from the Iranian government claim that the United States had some involvement. Iran also claims that the attack was supported directly by Israel. With tensions already high between Iran and Israel and the United States, this assassination could lead to military aggression by Iran against Israel. As the Biden administration will soon take office, they might be faced with a non-compliant, aggressive Iran as the United States continues placing troops in the Middle East for the purpose of protecting a key ally, Israel.
The Iranian nuclear scientist killed in this targeted attack was named Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The BBC reports, “Iran believes Israel and an exiled opposition group used a remote-control weapon to shoot dead top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday.” (1) Iranian officials seem certain that this was a Western attack on their own soil. However, their suspicions are in no way far-fetched.
As Newsweek reports, “Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the work of one of Iran's top nuclear scientists during a 2018 news conference about the country's allegedly ongoing nuclear development program..." This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad, put it—remember that name, Fakhrizadeh," Netanyahu said. (2) This evidence is particularly blatant and Israel and Iran’s contentious history causes an attack of this nature to place a spotlight on Israel. Additionally, Israel’s large network of spies in the Middle East can explain why they had individuals in Iran in the first place.
This attack could have long-lasting ramifications on the sustainability of peace in the Middle East. Iran and Israel are two military superpowers in the region, and any military conflict between the two nations would certainly involve the United States. Put simply, Iran is a morally corrupt nation with widespread human rights violations, and it regularly oppresses religious and ethnic minorities as well as women. This by no means should permit the United States or Israel to assassinate a leading scientist of a sovereign nation.
Iran’s attempts to build a nuclear weapon should be met with reason and diplomacy and peace, and escalations towards war could lead to mutually assured destruction for both Iran and the United States and Israel. Iran can be considered one of the most morally corrupt nations on Earth, in company with North Korea and China; however, the United States should pursue diplomacy with Iran and not pursue militaristic action. The United States must lead the world in peace talks, diplomatic relations, and United Nations activity. To attack or even endorse the attack of a sovereign nation goes directly against the United States’ best interests.
Iran’s attempts to create a nuclear weapon should be met with attempts toward peace and diplomacy. Iran and the United States do not share similar political, religious or social standards, but the same can be said about Saudi Arabia and the United States. Yet the United States has strong diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. If the United States wants to ensure its longevity, it must look for diplomatic means rather than violent military actions. With Iran looking to attack Israel after the assassination, it may not be long before the United States sees a massive conflict in the Middle East.