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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New York Times: "Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions"

A New York Times article by Scott Shane, entitled "Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/world/middleeast/iran-adversaries-said-to-step-up-covert-actions.html?hp), assesses the assassination of Iranian scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a department supervisor at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant. The article concludes:

"Gary Sick, a specialist on Iran at Columbia, said he believed that the covert campaign, combined with sanctions, would not persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear work.

'It’s important to turn around and ask how the U.S. would feel if our revenue was being cut off, our scientists were being killed and we were under cyberattack,' Mr. Sick said. 'Would we give in, or would we double down? I think we’d fight back, and Iran will, too.'"

The article does not mention that Gary Sick also sits on the Emeritus Board of Human Rights Watch (see: http://www.hrw.org/node/76172), which has been assailed by its founder, Robert Bernstein, for its obsessive attempts "to turn Israel into a pariah state" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2009/10/human-rights-watch-assailed-by-founder.html).

Sick asks how the US would feel if its revenue was being cut off, its scientists were being killed and it was under cyberattack; however, there is no comparing Iran with the US, and this has been the basic underlying shortcoming of Obama foreign policy. Iranian decision making is not grounded in Western values or considerations.

According to PressTV http://www.presstv.ir/detail/220580.html), Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps has responded to the assassination by declaring:

"'The desperate and criminal assassination of educated intellectual Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan…added another black page to the heavy records of crime and savageness of the terrorism-centered Zionist regime [of Israel] and its sympathizers in the White House and the West, which lays claim to human rights advocacy,' the IRGC said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement, however, stressed that the Iranian nation's determination to strengthen its superb regional position and elevate its scientific ranking in the world would not be weakened by threats or terrorist attacks."

In fact, Iran's "superb regional position" has never been weaker, following the recent steep decline in the value of the rial. The Iranian rial has lost more than a third of its value in the past three months, and as noted by The Times of India (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-10/telecom/30611449_1_farsi-iranian-rial-text-messages):

"Mobile phone text messages containing the word 'dollar' and a website showing real-time exchange rates were blocked on Tuesday in Iran.

. . . .

On Tuesday, the rial was fetching 17,230 against the dollar on the open market. That was close to the record low of 17,800 it hit on January 2.

Iranian officials insist the rial's decline has nothing to do directly with the Western sanctions, the toughest of which have yet to come into effect.

But some said Iranian residents were psychologically spooked by the sanctions squeeze and the prospect that the situation would worsen still."

The emerging reality is that Iran will soon no longer be able to bankroll Hezbollah in Lebanon and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, or to supply Assad with support to quell the rebellion in Syria.

Iran will fight back? Not when it's crumbling from within.

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