Motives and Cost-Benefits in Dr. Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination and Iran’s Probable Revenge

Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of the nuclear scientists in the defense industry and the Deputy of Iranian Defense Minister was assassinated in a terrorist attack in the city of Absard, in Tehran province. Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declared that the terror attack has “serious indications” of an Israeli role. “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Zarif wrote in a Tweet. Israel declined to immediately comment. But many experts believed that there are a few candidates for such a hawkish attack on the Iranian nuclear scientist. It means that the most defamed suspects are Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump.

The indications

If we review the recent events and news concerning Iran and the Middle east, we will find many indications on the two main perpetrators’ role in the crime.

A few weeks ago on 16 November, New York times revealed that Donald Trump asked his advisers whether he had possible options to launch some attack on Iran’s main nuclear site, Natanz, in the coming weeks. It came after a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran now had a stockpile of more than 2,442 kilograms, or over 5,385 pounds, of low-enriched uranium, following Trump’s pulling out of the international nuclear agreement, JCPOA, on May 8, 2018.  Although his advisers dissuaded him apparently, warning that any strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the region, New York times reported that the dismissed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other top Pentagon have privately expressed worries about President’s decisions to initiate operations against Iran or its nuclear projects before he leaves the white house.

As the United states had sent two Boeing B-52 Strat fortresses and the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier back to Persian Gulf a week before the assassination, Israeli-Hebrew news agencies including Walla, Israelhayom and Makorrishon reported that Israeli army has been declared on alert from some weeks ago in the case of the possible US attacks on Iran. Some days later, Israeli media especially Army Radio reporting the secretary Pompeo and Netanyahu’s clandestine meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman emphasized that the main top of this meeting was Iran, Iran and Iran.

Above all, Benjamin Netanyahu directly referred to Dr. Fakhrizadeh in 2018, claiming he’s the head of Project Amad which is an Iranian military program “to develop nuclear warheads for the multitudes of ballistic missiles the Islamic Republic already possesses.” And Netanyahu emphasized that “Head of Project Amad is Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Remember that name.” Based on Iranian officials’ claims especially Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Dr. Fakhrizadeh was one of the most heavily guarded and protected since the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists in 2009, which the following investigations unveiled the Israeli role in the terrors. Also, after Dr. Fakhrizadeh’s assassination Donald Trump retweeted from Haaretz news agency’s prominent Israeli journalist, Yossi Melman claiming that Fakhrizadeh was “wanted for many years by Mossad.” Actually, all Iranian officials and some US officials agree on the Israeli role in this recent terror with Trump’s giving the green lights. So the main question remains why Trump and Netanyahu decide to launch the terror attack on Iran at this time?

Donald Trump’s Motivations  

Despite the fact that Trump’s advisers warned him about any attack on Iran’s facilities which could easily escalate into a broader conflict, there are serious incentives for Trump to role like the crazy man. Actually, the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency about the enriched uranium stockpile in Iran was a scandal for Trump’s presidency because on the one hand, he pulled out the international nuclear agreement, JCPOA, in 2018 in order to blame Obama’s heritage, claiming that he can strike a better deal with Iran in addition to changing Iran’s behaviors. And on the other hand, not only does not Trump’s maximum pressure force Iran to concede Trumps’ new deal, but also Iran reached the huge amount of the nuclear stockpile about which the new settlers of the white house will blame the former President, Donald Trump.

Once defeated by Joe Biden in both the election and the Supreme court, Trump has the desire of running for the presidency again in 2024. And as President-elect Joe Biden wants to restart the nuclear deal of 2015, Trump naturally does his best to make future reconciliation impossible for returning to Iran’s nuclear deal.

Before the election, The United States and Iran were on the brink of war for two times including the aftermath of General Soleimani’s assassination by the USA in 2020 in which Iran launched missile attacks on the Ayn Al_Asad airbase, and when the US Global Hawk shot down by Iran in 2019. In the both cases, Donald Trump declined to respond Iran due to the fact that it could escalate into a regional war in the middle east. So it could put Trump’s presidency campaign in danger for the US 2020 election. But this time, escalating into a war with Iran could serve the incumbent president in the White house. Actually, Trump tries to attract the powerful Zionist lobbies’ attentions in the US to help him for the 2024 election presidency. Also, he could retaliate the Global Hawk and the Ayn Al_Asad airbase’s bombardment, regarding that he will be blamed for it in Biden’s area. Even if Iran wouldn’t respond the assassination in his presidency, he still lives up to his promise, ending “the endless wars”, hitting the enemies’ interests. 

Netanyahu’s Motivations

Analyzing Israeli role in the assassination needs to consider its domestic developments. Protesters rally in various locations against Netanyahu’s corruptions for several weeks, demanding his resignation. Escaping the trial investigation, he tries to keep himself on the power, pretending as the only superhero who can develop Israel’s influence in the region by eliminating the probable threats and without admitting to Palestinian demands. In addition to it, we should consider that he is in competition with Benny Gantz and his party. Also, the upcoming Biden’s government makes Israel as well as Trump worry about rejoining the nuclear agreement with Iran. Given that Biden might be opposed to his plan for occupying the west bank, which was one of his election promises. So, the last days of Trump’s presidency is the best opportunity for Netanyahu to gain some advantages.

Netanyahu knows that the assassination will have costs for Israel, but he seeks war with Iran by the US taxes. The broad conflict will benefit Netanyahu and Trump’s desires at this time to escape their domestic failures. Another aim they seek is to divide Iran’s domestic parties into two antagonist fronts over responding the assassination. By the way, “even if” Iran wouldn’t respond Israel immediately, Netanyahu thinks that he could add another criminal advantage to his list.

Iran’s Probable Retaliation

Iranian officials are aware of Israel’s intentions to get Iran involved in a devastative conflict with the USA in the last days of Trump’s term, although Iranian angry protesters pressure on the state to take a harsh revenge. Personally, I believe that President Rouhani applies the so-called “Strategic Patient”, while the state is planning for Post-Trump area to bring Israel to justice and prove how hard will be life for Israeli regime. Netanyahu will see how Iran not only will bring the USA back to JCPOA, but also it will take revenge for the illegal assassination. The assassination of the Deputy of Iranian Defense Minister represents two points: 1) the changes in game roles 2) the declaration of war. The fire which is set in Tehran, its smoke will be seen in Tel Aviv.

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