Reading around this I became more worried as this is just one of a series of incidents that I hadn't heard about at the time. The full timeline can be read here. I make that about 29 deaths in mysterious circumstances in two years
Reading about this lead me to an excellent article by Glenn Greenwald. The post looks back to 2007 when apparently a right wing blogger named Glenn Reynolds advocated doing just what appears to be happening. Under the impression that George W. wasn't doing enough to protect American interests he was recommending a stealth attack effectively picking off Iranian scientists and religions leaders. This apparently, rightly, lead to a furious reaction amongst bloggers and the like who were keen to point out in particular that as the US was not at war with Iran what he was suggesting was nothing short of murder and illegal - it could even be classed as such if the US was at war.
Glenn Greenwald's post then goes on to despair at the lack of outrage now the suggestion is actually appearing to be becoming a reality. It doesn't take a genius to work out that someone is targeting Iranian scientists for murder, admittedly the US is denying involvement and I haven't seen a serious article linking them to it so as such there is less reason for people to be up in arms in the US but you would still expect more of an outcry.
"In general, the American covert war against Iran is extraordinarily dangerous and probably illegal (it’s certainly unauthorized), but in particular, the assassination of Iran’s scientists is just reprehensible. Now that it’s actually happening, one wishes the reaction to it were even partially as aggressive as it was when a right-wing blogger suggested it."
I can understand why people would see the deaths as a good thing, but at the end of the day whether or not Iran develops a nuclear weapon is not going to be down to a couple of scientists here and there, there would be a whole infrastructure working towards this. Nobody would say that Iran developing nuclear weaponry would be a good thing for world security, however as I've said before that even though I hope they don't obtain the technology I can empathise with why they may feel the need for one.
We can't be morally outraged by car bombs going off in Iraq or terrorist tactics used against us and then support the same tactics just because they are used by "our side". The West's hypocritical stance on this (as well as torture) is something that really annoys me and I hope more people speak out against it!
Since I drafted this post last week there does appear to be a bit more of a negative reaction around (including this good piece by Jeff Sparrow)