Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination and Western Dual Standards

Fakhrizadeh’s assassination was very likely carried out by a hostile intelligence service using terrorist tactics. It’s not surprising that he was targeted considering the information warfare that was waged against him and Iran’s nuclear energy program in the past. His martyrdom deals a blow to the country’s efforts to advance its UN-enshrined right to peacefully develop nuclear energy, but it’ll be able to bounce back from this because he obviously wasn’t its only nuclear scientist even though he reportedly played a very important role in this respect.

It certainly seems to be the case that “Israel” was responsible for this terrorist attack. The Zionist entity fears Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program and also has the regional intelligence capabilities to assassinate its enemies. This also isn’t the first time that it’s been accused of killing Iranian scientists so there’s a clear track record of behavior which strongly suggests that it was responsible this time as well.

What the international community should do and what it ultimately ends up doing will likely be two completely different things. In a perfect world, everyone would condemn this terrorist attack, but in reality, they probably won’t do so. The EU is among those international actors which seems to believe the information warfare that’s been waged by the US, “Israel”, and the GCC against Iran’s nuclear energy program. That’s not to say that they support Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, but just that they might not regard it as being all that bad either. For reasons of soft power, they can’t openly express this opinion, but actions speak louder than words as they say and its failure to directly condemn “Israel” for this crime says a lot about where its true sympathies lie.

Iran can respond symmetrically, asymmetrically, and/or diplomatically. The first scenario involves assassinating one of its enemies’ nuclear scientists, the second could involve targeting its enemies’ interests in other ways, while the third relates to raising global awareness about this crime and the international community’s double standards. It’s important to point out that the terrorist beheading of a French schoolteacher in October prompted universal condemnation out of principle despite the victim’s ethically controversial decision to share blasphemous cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad as part of a “free speech” lesson.

No responsible international actors blamed the victim even though some criticized his fateful choice. The same standard should be applied towards Fakhrizadeh too. Unlike the French schoolteacher, he didn’t engage in any ethically controversial activities prior to being killed. He was a respected scientist and the victim of a hostile intelligence service’s terrorist tactics, yet few are condemning what happened to him. Iran would therefore do well to draw attention to this as part of its soft power strategy. All victims of terrorism are equal, and there shouldn’t be any double standards of sympathy because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, and/or the circumstances behind their deaths. 

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