Khodayari’s Killing – A Message to Iran?


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Khodayari’s Killing – A Message to Iran?
“If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”
By Hugh Fitzgerald

“Assassinations,” according to Israeli analyst Ariel Kahana, “are sometimes a way to send a message, and not necessarily the result of the target posing an immediate threat. Sometimes, there might be more to the equation, which could be a possible explanation for the recent developments vis-à-vis Iran.” His full article is here: “Changing the rules of the game vis-à-vis Iran,” by Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom, May 27, 2022:

From afar, it might seem like just another round of tensions between the ayatollah regime and its enemies, but a closer look reveals that this time, there is a new element at play.

Because if Israel is indeed responsible for the elimination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodayari earlier this week, as world media suggested, then the act seems to be changing the balance of power between Jerusalem and Tehran….

Instead of playing in the sandbox Iran has built for us, we should hit it in its own home. This is the strategy Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been talking about for years. It seems Israel is finally beginning to implement it.

But surely the author hasn’t forgotten all those “hits” on Iran directly, made long before Bennett became Prime Minister. This “strategy” of striking Iran is not “finally beginning to be implemented.” It has been in place since 2010. He must remember the Stuxnet computer worm in 2010, the targeted assassinations of four top Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012, the seizing of Iran’s entire nuclear archive in 2018, the attacks on the centrifuge plants at Natanz in 2020 and 2021, the many other attacks on nuclear facilities (as at Kharaj in 2021), and the more than a dozen chemical and electrical plants throughout Iran that have suffered mysterious explosions.

Just this week, a mysterious incident occurred at the Parchin nuclear facility, so the claim that Israel has ceased targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is probably untrue. Someone wants to make it clear to senior Iranian officials that they are exposed even at home. That they face danger at all times and in all places.

I don’t know what Ariel Kahana means when he says that “the claim that Israel has ceased targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is probably untrue.” Who has ever claimed that? Israel hit the Natanz centrifuge plant(s) in 2020 and again early in 2021, and hit a centrifuge facility at Kharaj in late 2021, as well as assassinating Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s chief nuclear scientist, in December 2021. There has been no letup in attacks directly on targets inside Iran, though they have been far fewer in number than the attacks on Iranian targets in Syria.

Although this change is refreshing, at the end of the day, Iran is a massive country located far away from Israel and close to developing a nuclear bomb. With or without a nuclear agreement, decapitating the octopus will not be easy.

The assassination of Khodayari certainly will rattle the Iranians even more than the attacks on their bases in Syria. In broad daylight, on a street where many IRGC officials live, a place that should have been – and perhaps was – bristling with security, the Mossad managed to kill an IRGC commander and escape unscathed. President Raisi and the head of the IRGC have promised a terrible revenge. There won’t be any; the Iranians bluster, but they are terrified of the devastation that would be wrought by Israel in response to any serious attack. The Israelis, on the other hand, don’t issue any threats. They don’t claim credit for any of their attacks on Iran. They remain silent. But their motivating motto is clear. It’s from the Talmud: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”