Kate’s Corner: Iran’s explosive situation

By Kate Doak.

Iran’s recent political upheaval took a rather dramatic turn over Tuesday with the assasination of a Nuclear scientist from Tehran University. According to Iran’s semi-official news agency Press TV, Professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed after a bomb hidden on his motorcycle was remotely detonated.

The explosion took place near the professor’s home in Qeytariyeh neighbourhood, in northern Tehran” Press TV stated. Further broadcasts have claimed that Mohammadi was “assassinated in a terrorist act by counter-revolutionary elements,” identifying him as “a committed revolutionary lecturer”.

Regardless of who actually killed the victim however, Mohammadi’s murder represents an escalation within Iran’s already brittle political environment. While Iranian authorities are portraying this as a terrorist act, it’s hard to find any valid reason as to why the Protestors would want to target Mohammadi in particular. Up until now the Protest movement within Iran has also been extremely fragmented, with no identifiable leaders coming forth. As a result, most of the protests have been extremely disorganised. If the Protesters were somehow involved in this attack, then it raises questions as to who organised it and just how stable the Iranian regime really is.

On the other hand, given Mohammadi’s background as a Nuclear Physcist, the Iranian Government would benefit both domestically and abroad from such an attack. In the wake of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Iran has claimed that Mohammadi’s assassination is evidence of Western interference in their domestic affairs. While stalling negotiations, such claims will also allow Iranian authorities the opportunity to maintain their crackdown over their citizens and the independent media.

By refusing to openly support the Opposition movement within Iran during the early Post-election protests,  President Obama may have prevented the United States from becoming the scapegoat of the Iranian authorities over this incident. If so, expect the Democrats to capitalise on Obama’s silence during earlier protests over the coming days.

Billie’s Quickies … What must it be like to feast on the tears of sleeping birds?

  • I’m not sure one should hang around something that’s supposed to sting … much less something with the words ‘giant’ and ‘sting’ in the same name.
  • Boston Globe piece about fundamentalism WELL worth the read: “… fundamentalist movements share another quality. They are inherently fractious, and this is one reason for their broad decline. When your view of reality is the only acceptable one, you cannot compromise.”
  • The Social Security Situation … visually.
  • Now that folks are beating the drums about a nuclear Iran again, as they do every few months, here’s Glenn Greenwald to maybe snap us back to reality for a second: “ … exploiting foreign threats for domestic political gain is a virtually universal tool of governments.  That, of course, is exactly why the belligerence and threats towards Iran long advocated by America’s Right has as its prime beneficiary the very Iranian mullahs they claim to oppose.”
  • This remains CLASSIC: Judges who quote Adam Sandler are keepers thank you very much.
  • What your draft beer choice says about you – funny
  • Soup. Soup. Soup. Soup.
  • This is a pretty neato website. I like numbers in visual form.
  • All I want for Christmas is an end to apartheid – Top ten brands to boycott
  • Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens debate blasphemy:
  • Wow .. Sort of darkly beautiful.  An animal that feasts on the tears of another animal: “…A species of moth drinks tears from the eyes of sleeping birds using a fearsome proboscis shaped like a harpoon, scientists have revealed. The new discovery – spied in Madagascar – is the first time moths have been seen feeding on the tears of birds.”
  • Well, this was prescient: “I am wondering how long we can pretend this problem does not exist. How long can we continue to buy stocks and flip houses, forget to save, pile up debt, import Chinese made goods, and export debt? Are these useful activities to perform while there’s an economic avalanche bearing down upon us?  Unfortunately, I am not smart enough to know the answer. I only know that hoping a significant and mounting problem will go away is not a winning strategy.”
  • I adore artful guitar agility H/T Neatorama: