Just in case you ever run out of things to worry about, take a look at Iran where a car bomb killed yet another nuclear scientist last week. Ironically, this nuclear scientist was on his way to an event commemorating the second anniversary of the death of another nuclear scientist killed by a car bomb.
According to Israeli sources, this is the fifth nuclear scientist to die, while The Wall Street Journal said this was the fourth death of a nuclear scientist in the past two years. A Pentagon spokesman said “the United States played no role whatsoever in the killing of this scientist,” while Israel refused to comment.
The past few months have witnessed a huge rise in similar “accidents” within Iran. According to The Washington Post, there has been a “five-fold increase in explosions at refineries and gas pipelines since 2010.” For instance, there was a mysterious explosion at a steel plant on Dec. 11 — less than two weeks after massive explosions were heard at a uranium conversion facility on Nov. 28.
While Israel (or other nations perhaps) might be trying to slow Iran’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon and crippling that country economically, the U.S. clearly is pressing hard on economic sanctions against Iran. Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was on the road in Asia urging both China and Japan to reduce their imports of Iranian crude oil. While the Chinese have not yet pledged any support of these new sanctions, Mr. Geithner got assurances from Japan that it would cut back on Iranian oil imports.
Saudi Arabia — a major rival to Iran — is expected to make up any differences to Japan and other countries that curtail their imports of crude oil from Iran. In the meantime, while the U.S. presses for sanctions and the covert war against Iran’s nuclear scientists escalates, it is clear that crude oil prices will remain high.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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