A Mysterious Assassination Benefits Iran’s Propaganda Machine

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Iran’s state-controlled media have launched a full-blown propaganda campaign claiming that the United States and Israel are responsible for the murder of an Iranian scientist. Iran’s Foreign Ministry charged that the bomb plot that killed Dr. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in Tehran on Tuesday “revealed signs of the involvement of the Zionist regime, the U.S. and their allies in Iran.” By portraying Ali-Mohammadi as a nuclear scientist and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was “martyred,” the regime claims that his killers are counter-revolutionary forces backed by foreign powers and implies that his murder is part of a western plot to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. This conveniently sets the stage for an even harsher crackdown on Iran’s opposition movement.

Today Iran’s bellicose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, chimed in saying that “The manner of bomb planting shows a Zionist style and they want to make sure that Iran would not advance.” For good measure, he added that the United States seeks to dominate the Middle East by using September 11 as a “pretext”: “The September 11 incident was very suspicious and complex