In one of his regular Reflections dated 6 January 2011, the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, explores the possibility that the recent assassinations of Iranian scientists could have been carried out by Israel’s secret service, the Mossad, with the connivance of American and British intelligence.


At the end of November 2010, nuclear scientist, Majid Shariari, lost his life in an explosion just outside his home. In January 2010, Dr. Masoud Ali Mohamadi, a nuclear physicist at Tehran University, was also killed in a bomb blast as he was leaving home for work. Dr. Arseshir Hosseinpour was found dead at the nuclear centre in Isfahan in 2007.


Castro attributes to Gordon Thomas, a British expert on the Mossad,  the view that “ all Israeli assassination attempts in the last few years against personalities associated with the Iranian nuclear project have been committed by the Kidon (bayonet) unit. According to the Jewish newspaper Yediot Ahronot this unit is made up of 38 agents. Five of them are women. They are all between 20 and 30 years old and they speak several languages —- including Persian— and they are able to come and go from Iran with ease. They are based in the Negev Desert.”


The assassination of Iranian scientists mirrors the killing of a much larger number of Iraqi scientists allegedly also by Mossad agents between 2003 and 2006. It is estimated that something like 550 scientists and other academics were killed during that period. In fact, an international conference on the assassinations of Iraqi academics was held in Madrid in April 2006. At that conference biographies of the victims were presented.


Assuming that these allegations are true, it is not difficult to fathom why Israel would want to eliminate Iraqi and Iranian scientists, particularly nuclear scientists. Israel is determined to maintain its position as the sole nuclear weapons state in West Asia. This is why in 1981, without provocation, it demolished the Osirak nuclear facility in Iraq. It also explains why Israel is so eager to take military action against Iran, even when there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the latter is planning to produce nuclear weapons.  Israel knows that more than destroying nuclear installations, it is the pulverization of nuclear brains that will ensure that it continues to exercise a monopoly over nuclear weapons in the region.


It is a shame that — with a few exceptions— the mainstream Western media has made no attempt to probe the alleged link between the recent assassination of Iranian scientists and Israel and its overt and covert operations’ units. Even in the earlier elimination of Iraqi scientists it was only the Doha-based Al-Jazeera that revealed the clandestine role of Mossad hit squads.  In cyber media, there are very few websites or blogs that focus upon this critical question of Israel’s espionage apparatus and its activities. It is as if the media as a whole have conspired to protect Israeli interests.


What is even more disillusioning is the deafening silence of scientists and academics everywhere. In the so-called great centres of learning in the West, very few voices of conscience have condemned the systematic murder of their fraternity. It is equally disgraceful that in most of the universities and research institutes in West Asia and in the Global South, elimination of Iraqi and Iranian scientists is a non-issue.


One can understand why Fidel Castro’s Reflection on the Iranian murders is appropriately entitled, “What would Einstein Say?”






Dr. Chandra Muzaffar,


International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

And, Professor of Global Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.


12 January 2011.

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