News you may have missed #668

John McLaughlinBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Ex-CIA chief says war against Iran would be ‘very bad option’. Former CIA acting director John McLaughlin (pictured) said the United States can engage Iran through diplomacy, sanctions or military action, but warned the latter choice “would be a very bad option”. Speaking during a panel discussion in Washington Tuesday, McLaughlin said direct military action with Iran could grow to involve Hezbollah, the militant group based in Lebanon.
►►US warns Israel on Iran strike. US defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over US objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard US facilities in the region in case of a conflict. The US wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.
►►Iran tightens security for scientists after killing. The nature of the extra security was not disclosed, but it was reported a day after Iran’s Parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, an outspoken promoter of Iran’s nuclear independence, said that investigators had identified and detained an unspecified number of suspects in the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the deputy director at the Natanz enrichment site.


Iran revises earlier reports of nuclear scientist’s assassination

Daryoush Rezaei

Daryoush Rezaei

The government of Iran has revised earlier reports of a nuclear scientist’s assassination, saying the murdered man was a university student, and not a nuclear physicist, as it was first announced. On Saturday afternoon, Iran’s government-controlled media began carrying news of the fatal shooting of a man named Darioush Rezaei, in the Iranian capital Tehran. According to early reports, Rezaei, 35, who researched neutron transport at a Tehran university, was identified as “an expert with links to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran”. He was allegedly shot dead in broad daylight by two men on a motorcycle, as he and his wife were returning to their house after picking up their four-year-old daughter from kindergarten. The report, which was first aired by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) was rapidly echoed by other Iranian government-controlled media. Early the next day, Iran’s parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, condemned the attack as a provocation by Israeli and American intelligence agencies, which Iran suspects of being behind a series of assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists during the past five years. Later on Sunday, however, a number of Iranian media started withdrawing the reports of Rezaei’s assassination, saying there had been “some confusion” about the dead man’s identity. Eventually it emerged that the man’s full name was Darioush Rezaei-Nejad, and that he was not a career academic nor “a physicist involved in the disputed nuclear program”, but rather an “a university student” studying for a master’s degree in electronics. Read more of this post