Israel brutally assassinated a scientist just outside the Iranian capital Tehran on Friday of last week.
The horrific killing is an attempt by US president Donald Trump to entrench conflict between the US and Iran before Joe Biden becomes president next year.
Reports say a group of assassins slaughtered nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and three bodyguards in a hail of machine gun fire on a highway near Tehran. The killers reportedly escaped the scene, before a car bomb exploded.
Fakhrizadeh was Iran’s leading nuclear scientist.
Israel did not officially admit to carrying out the attack—but its politicians and officials gloated and boasted about the murder.
Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz said the assassination of Fakhrizadeh “serves not only Israel, but the whole region and the world”.
And an unnamed Israeli official told the New York Times newspaper that the world should thank Israel for the killing.
The senior official was involved for years in tracking Fakhrizadeh for Israel, according to the report.
The official also said Israel would continue to take action against Iran’s nuclear program.
The killing comes as Trump ramps up the threat of conflict with Iran. He sent several extra bombers and fighter jets to Middle East bases “to deter aggression and reassure US partners and allies” last week.
It’s part of a last-ditch effort to sabotage the possible return of a “deal” between the US and Iran.
Under the deal—signed by former president Barack Obama—the US promised to end punishing economic sanctions against Iran. In return, Iran promised to stop developing its nuclear industries.
The deal was meant to keep the US in control of the Middle East. Obama hoped it would make sure the US—and its most important military ally Israel—would be the only nuclear armed countries in the region.
Yet Trump wanted to crush Iran, which kept growing as a challenge to the US’s dominance.
Backed by Israel—which acts as the US’s military enforcer in the Middle East—he brought back sanctions and threats of war against Iran.
He also encouraged Israel and rulers of Arab states to unite against Iran.
This involved encouraging them to support a fake “peace deal” that approved Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Biden wants to return to Obama’s plan to control the Middle East.
But Trump knows Biden won’t undo everything he has done to enforce the US’s power.
Biden has also championed the US’s many wars in the Middle East.
Trump is using his last few weeks as president to force through as much of his plan as possible.
And that means gambling with the threat of a war that could devastate ordinary people’s lives across the Middle East and the world.