This is one for the spy novels…in fact, David Ignatius’ most recent offering, The Increment, had a very similar situation: An Iranian nuclear physicist is killed. The Iranians blame the Great Satan, of course, but then we learn:
Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, 50, was described by colleagues as a respected Tehran University nuclear physicist. Reformist websites and two students also described him as an outspoken supporter of opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
Which raises an interesting question: If more and more people in Iran, especially educated people–nuclear physicists, example–are appalled by their government….doesn’t that raise all sorts of security risks? You sense flop-sweat emanating from the higher reaches of the regime these days. Murdering people on Ashura–a holy day of peace–didn’t sit so well with the religious community. The fact that the world, possibly even China and Russia, is lining up against Iran in the nuclear non-proliferation talks isn’t sitting so well, either. It seems quite possible that a moment is coming when a significant portion of the Iranian political/military establishment will come to the conclusion that the Khamanei-Ahmadinejad regime is just too dangerous to keep in power. Inshallah.