Petition against the Murder of Iranian Scientists

Scholars, Academicians, Journalists, and Activists Condemn Murder of Iranian Technical and Scientific Experts

On January 12, 2012, a bomb ripped apart a car in Tehran, killing Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his driver, and injuring several others. In the past two years, four other Iranian scientists have been killed in a similar manner. By now, it is clear that this is a systematic campaign with political intentions. Media reports and political pundits attribute Mr. Ahmadi’s killing to targeted assassinations by those opposed to Iran’s nuclear program, both within and outside Iran, or internal factional fighting.

If public reports are true that these assassinations are orchestrated by foreign powers in order to prevent Iran’s ability to go forward with its nuclear capabilities, then we petition those powers to stop these assassinations–a tactic replacing political engagement with covert operations at the expense of innocent civilians. These assassinations provide the Iranian authorities with ample excuse to continue to suppress voices of dissent, even on the Iranian nuclear issue, to arrest and imprison political opposition, and to further curtail the activities of human rights activists.

As academicians, writers, human rights activists, and intellectuals, we condemn these attacks on civilian scientists. Such terrorist actions can only escalate the internal tension and regional conflicts toward a military clash or war. Regardless of where we stand on Iran’s nuclear program, we find these assassinations outrageous because they target technical or scientific elements of a society without due consideration for human rights, due process of international and national laws, and lives of innocent individuals caught in the crossfire.
These types of killings have to stop, not only because they harm a nation’s scientific community and its civilians, but also because they build a deep psychological scar on the nation’s public mind prompting it to ask for revenge in kind. We hope we are living in a better world than that. Killing innocent or even allegedly guilty people without consideration for their human rights and due process, by any force or government anywhere and anytime, is an outrageous act to be protested by all. If covert targeted assassinations of opponents become the order of the day, no one will be safe in this world.

01. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS, University of London 02. Masih Alinejad, Journalist
03. Asieh Amini, Journalist and Human Rights Activist
04. Fariba Amini, Independent Journalist and Writer
05. Hooshang Amirahmadi, Professor, Rutgers University
06. Richard P. Appelbaum, Professor of Sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara

07. Rahim Bajoghli, Human Rights Activist
08. Darioush Bayandor, historian, author
09. Asef Bayat, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
10. Iris Bazing, MD, Baltimore, Maryland
11. Maria Bennett, Poet, New Jersey, USA
12. Mohammad Borghei, Strayer University.
13. Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Professor, Syracuse University
14. Juan Cole, Professor, University of Michigan
15. Shirindokht Daghighian, Independent Scholar & Author
16. Mehrdad Darvishpour, Lecturer at the Malardalen University, Sweden 17. Lucia F. Dunn, Professor of Economics, Ohio State University
18. Goudarz Eghtedari, Ph.D., Voices of the Middle East
19. Mohammad Eghtedari, Economist, Washington, DC
20. Nader Entessar, Professor of Political Science, University of South Alabama
21. Amir Fassihi, Nowruz Foundation for Nonviolence, CA
22. John Foran, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
23. Ali Fathollah-Nejad, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 24. Yoshie Furuhashi, Editor, MRZine
25. Alexandra Gallin-Parisi, Professor, Trinity University
26. Amir Hossein Ganjbakhsh, Senior Investigator, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD 27. Reza Goharzad, Journalist, Los Angeles
28. John L Graham, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine
29. Hossein Hamedani, Professor, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
30. Nader Hashemi, Professor, University of Denver
31. Esmail Hejazifar, Professor of Physics, Wilmington College, Ohio
32. Paula Hertel, Professor of Psychology, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
33. Mohsen Heydareian, Ph. D, Political Science, Sweden
34. Fredun Hojabri, Retired Professor of Sharif (Aryamehr) Univeristy of Technology
35. Angie Hougas, Human Rights Activists, McFarland, WI
36. Noushin Izadifar Hart, M.D., Radiation Oncologist, Reston, Virginia
37. Azadeh Jahanbegloo, Sociologist, Wright State University, Ohio
38. Jahanshah Javid, Editor, Iranian.com
39. Hasan Javadi, Retired Professor of Persian Language, University of California, Berkeley
40. Mark C. Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation, NY
41. Yahya Kamalipour, Chair, Global Communication Association, Purdue University
42. Aziz Karamloo, MD, Faculty Member, University of California, Los Angeles
43. Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Professor of Theatre and Film, Siena College, NY
44. Liam Kennedy, Community Board Member,CCPB, UC, Irvine
45. Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor, Washington University, St. Louis
46. Nanette Le Coat, Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures, Trinity University 47. Arturo Madrid, Professor, Trinity University
48. Ali Akbar Mahdi, Professor Emeritus, Ohio Wesleyan University
49. Azita Mashayekhi, Industrial Hygienist, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
50. Rudi Matthee, Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern history, University of Delaware 51. Farzaneh Milani, Professor, University of Virginia
52. Yaser Mirdamadi, Independent Scholar
53. Ziba Mir-Hosseini, CMEIL, School of Oriental and African Studies
54. Ida Mirzaie, Ohio State University
55. Valentine M. Moghadam, Professor of Sociology, Northeastern University
56. Mahmood Monshipouri, Professor, San Francisco State University
57. Akbar Montaser, Professor, Department of Chemistry ,George Washington University
58. Reza Mousoli, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
59. Baquer Namazi, Retired UNICEF Country Representative & Civil Society Activist
60. Arash Naraghi, Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Moravian College
61. Mohamad Navab, University of California, Los Angeles
62. Farrokh Negahdar, Political Analyst
63. Mohammad-Reza Nikfar, Independent Scholar and Philosopher
64. Azam Niroomand-Rad, Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University Medical Center
65. Farhad Nomani, Professor of Economics, American University of Paris
66. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Associate Professor, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology
67. Trita Parsi, President, National Iranian American Council, Washington, DC
68. Richard T. Peterson, Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University
69. Davood Rahni, Professor of Chemistry, Pace University, New York
70. Farhang Rajaee, Professor, Carleton University
71. Asghar rastegar, MD, Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicinek
72. Thomas M. Ricks, Ph.D., Independent Scholar
73. Mahmoud Sadri, Professor of Sociology, Texas Woman’s University
74. Muhammad Sahimi, Professor, University of Southern California in Los Angeles
75. Hamid Salek, D.D.S. University of Southern California , Los Angeles
76. Reza Sarhangi, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Towson University
77. Mehrdad F. Samadzadeh, University of Toronto
78. Gabriel Sebastian, Author, Futurist
79. Ali Shakeri, Community Board Member, CCPB, UC, Irvine
80. Evan Siegel, Ph.D., Independent Researcher on Iran & Azerbaijan, Adj. Mathematics Prof., CUNY 81. Arman Shirazi, Senior Scientist, CSM North America
82. Sussan Siavoshi, Professor, Trinity University
83. Mark D. Stansbery, Iran Action Network
84. Sussan Tahmasebi, Women’s Rights Activist
85. Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Univeristy of Toronto
86. Bahram Tavakolian, Willamette University
87. Farideh Tehrani, Ph.D., Middle Eastern Studies Librarian, Rutgers University, NJ
88. Mary Ann Tetreault, Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Trinity University
89. Nayereh Tohidi, Professor, California State University, Northridge
90. Patricia Trutty-Coohill, Professor of Art History, Siena College, NY
91. Farzin Vahdat, Research Associate at Vassar College
92. Bill Wolak, Poet, New Jersey, USA
93. Leila Zand, Program Director, Middle East Civilian Diplomacy, Fellowship of Reconciliation
94. Hamid Zangeneh, Professor, Widener University

21 Responses

  1. Our politicians always shove– what I call– the American Analogy down our throats. When Israel kills Palestinians, they justify the killings as self-defense. “Imagine if rockets were falling from Canada on an American town,” they say, drawing an imaginative analogy between the complicated situation in the Middle East and home. Now, imagine if the Iranian regime was hiring terrorist groups to kill scientists at Cambridge. How would we feel? But the American ruling class has held itself as the superior hemogeon of the world that is more powerful than international law, even as it is falling– an attitude that we, the people, are paying dearly for.

      • “I doubt it’s falling.”

        If by that you mean the US is NOT slowly losing it’s No 1 superpower status, I would suggest you widen your reading !

  2. I am appalled that civilised people can even think this kind of murderous activity is acceptable behaviour. I want an end to all covert activity and serious dialogue between Iran and other nations. Take the threats off the table, engage in genuine dialogue and put Israel’s nuclear weapons on the agenda, clearly, these are a threat to Iran.

    The world’s safety and livability are far more important than the brinksmanship of an American President seeking re-election. No one wants a radioactive or nuclear war. No one thinks this is necessary.

  3. “without due consideration for human rights” – this is not a concern for the individuals

    “psychological scar” — this is the intent

    “prompting it to ask for revenge in kind” — this is a secondary intent

    “human rights and due process” – this also is not a concern for the individuals.

    The purpose is always the same, whether it is a physical assassination, or a psychological murder. Do you feel this has only happened to people in the world of academicians, writers, human rights activists, and intellectuals? It has happened to far more people than this.

  4. Juan, since receiving this from Irani friends I have sent it out to many other friends, who have all asked how they can add their names to the petition. Several of them are commentators in the alternative media and will be writing about it on their own sites. Can you send us a form that will allow us to sign on?

    Many thanks.

    Gene

    • thanks! but it isn’t that sort of petition. People who are interested could just print it off and send it to their congressional representatives and say that they agree with it.

  5. Juan,

    Many others might wish to sign this petition.
    If it is still open, can you give a URL to it? I saw no signatures marked “Law school” for instance.

    Thanks.

  6. These targeted assassinations may well be the work of Israel, using the Mujahedin e Khalq (or others) as the instrument of choice. Those who think they are the work of the U.S., though, are engaging in totally unsubstantiated finger-pointing.

    Before everyone continues on the course set by the herd mentality (“It is Israel,” “It is the U.S.,” “It is the green light given by Obama for re-election,” however, let me suggest that these assassinations might be the work of the Mujahedin e Khalq acting on its own.

    • Does “the herd mentality” include “herd behavior” like us all suddenly being told we have to start getting our knickers in a sudden twist about “Iran” suddenly being as big a danger to “US national interests” as, say, the Japanese in 1940? Or maybe that is not an acceptable analogy — I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere, that’s better than that — maybe the Duchy of Fenwick?

      Seems to me that the apparatchiks in our state security apparatus are more than happy to round up the wildebeests and nip and howl them into a stampede for what later prove (at least if the reality comes to light, finally) to be less than honorable or honest purposes. WMD in Iraq? Whodathoughtit?

  7. Assassinating the suspects is a profoundly un-American act. As the United States was chartered, everyone – not just “American citizens” – deserves the due process of law to determine, openly and fairly, whether or not they are guilty and if so, what the punishment ought to be.

    This program, whether run by the US Government or by Israel and condoned by the US Government, is against all of our laws, traditions and principals.

    • “This program, whether run by the US Government or by Israel and condoned by the US Government, is against all of our laws, traditions and principals.”

      But, sadly, has been carried out by the US and it’s allies for many decades.

      Patrice Lumumba
      Allende
      Contras
      etc.

      • Alec, much as US written law may forbid acts of murder, you are right to mention just a few of the many examples of covert paramilitary activities from the past sixty years, all denied, all approved by a long list of US Presidents, or we should call them Commanders-in-Chief. Sadly, there is nothing un-American about practices of such long-standing. This is very well substantiated by the CIAs own documents.

        As for guessing whether the CIA, Mossad or other agency actually carried out the crimes, it is pointless to speculate until the documents are published, decades too late. That is why WikiLeaks was so invaluable, real-time exposure of guilt. Just what genuine democracies require. One thing is certain, the murders are consistent with all the other acts of war committed by the Obama administration.

        Never give up on talking and listening.

  8. @Bill, @Zandru and all: It is worth noting that the US government has condemned this assassination and the others in Iran in very strong terms (see here), and it wouldn’t do any harm to believe them this once.

    • Exactly, David, that is why I stated above: “Those who think they are the work of the U.S., though, are engaging in totally unsubstantiated finger-pointing.” The U.S. most definitely is not involved in it.

        • Nice of you two to confirm each others’ assertions. I guess that settles the issue for all of us, then, right?

          One of the strongest presumptions in the law is the presumption of continuity. If people do things one way today, they are likely to keep doing them the same way next month. Waddles like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck? Kind of silly to claim that “this once” the rest of us should believe, in a realm where “plausible deniability” is one touchstone of a good “operation,” that “strong terms” from the US state department should settle once and for all the genesis of these murders. “Watch the shiny object as it spins…”

          The legalism that “It’s not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt” is a nice shield against accountability, especially if there’s no Wikileaks or person of conscience to reveal the reality. And even if there’s no “direct link” between any of the increasingly large number of Covert Operators on “our” side and what happened to Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his driver, and several random other “Wogs,” there’s a Great Game afoot, “War With Iran,” with more than enough complicity to go around. (I gotta ask, obviously with the benefit of hindsight, why these Players did not “do” A.Q. Khan and some of the Pakistani movers and shakers behind the avowedly nuclear weapons program of Pakistan? The existence of Pakistani nukes sure is complicating the Great Game in South Asia, now isn’t it? Along with Khan’s jovial dissemination of bomb-making skills across the planet.)

          I’m just so sure that it’s never been the case that one hand of the executive was technically ignorant of what another hand was doing or had done, and that “we” or “our” equivalents amongst the Enemy have denied any complicity or actor liability in some bad act. And April Glaspie did not convey to Saddam Hussein that the US took no position on intra-Arab squabbles like Hussein’s claim that Kuwait was properly part of Greater Iraq. And the strafing and torpedoing of the USS Liberty was just a case of mistaken identity.

          “Wouldn’t do any harm to believe them this once.” That’s sarcasm, right?

          But not to worry, the kind of world where such stuff can happen more easily, and with even less concern about accountability, sure seems closer all the time… I bet some of us would feel right at home there.

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