The targeted assassination of top Iranian physicist and nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Nov. 27, and Donald Trump’s immediate approving Tweet, confirm the determination of U.S. and Israeli rulers to sabotage every possible effort for peace or normalization of relations with Iran or the region.Iranians mourn Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Tehran, Nov. 28.The multi-pronged attack involved at least one explosion and small-arms fire by a number of assailants.Regardless of who the media blame, whether Israel or the Washington-supported Iranian terrorist group People’s Mujahedin Organization, this latest act of state-sponsored terrorism follows decades of U.S. sanctions, sabotage, and assassinations against Iran, plus invasions and occupations of surrounding countries. Almost a year ago, on Jan. 3, a U.S. drone assassinated a highly respected Iranian general, Qasem Suleimani, as he was traveling to Iraq with a peace proposal involving countries throughout the region. U.S. intelligence agencies were well aware of the peaceful purpose of his trip.Suleimani’s assassination confirmed that U.S. leaders felt threatened by the possibility that the countries of the region might arrive at peace or reconciliation among themselves. This new assassination of a top Iranian scientist is a criminal provocation and a desperate attempt to lure Iran into a response leading to a wider war.Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, not weapons. Nuclear technology today is a crucial part of industrial development and even medical progress.U.S. effort to block developmentNever mentioned in the U.S. media is that Fakhrizadeh was a pioneer in Iran’s effort to combat the novel coronavirus. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described this crucial role: “One of the latest services of Martyr Fakhrizadeh was his outstanding role in the development of the first indigenous COVID-19 test kit, which is a great contribution to our national efforts in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when Iran is under inhumane sanctions of the United States, strictly preventing our access to humanitarian goods including medicines and medical equipment.” (https://tinyurl.com/y259rl9f)Fakhrizadeh headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research. He trained many researchers to find ways to scientifically advance Iran, especially for defense. He helped apply lasers to the detection of invading aircraft.Four other senior Iranian scientists have been assassinated over the past decade. Others were injured in assassination attempts. Targeted assassinations and economic sanctions are meant to deprive countries of scientific capabilities and development. Iran’s High Council for Human Rights denounced the atrocity as an outright violation of the country’s right to have access to science and technology in order to progress. Countries attempting to assert national sovereignty and independent development are soon targeted by harsh U.S. sanctions and military threats. U.S. violated nuclear agreementIran demonstrated the peaceful nature of its nuclear program in 2015 by signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with six world powers — the U.S., Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. In an effort to lift strangling sanctions, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. It agreed to enrich uranium to only 3.67%, meaning it would not have the highly enriched uranium used to manufacture nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency has acknowledged Iran’s compliance with this onerous agreement, after subjecting its nuclear work to extensive and recurrent examinations. After Iran kept its part of the agreement, the Trump administration violated it in May 2018 and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Washington then demanded that every other country also violate the agreement and impose sanctions on Iran. This illegal unilateral action outraged even other imperialists who conduct profitable business with Iran. The incoming Biden administration wants to revive the agreement – but not to end attempts to strangle Iran. Rather, it aims to restore relations with imperialist allies who have been snubbed and insulted by Trump. U.S. imperialists are also concerned that Iran’s expanding trade with China and Russia is undermining U.S. dominance in the region and limiting the impact of sanctions.A staged provocationThe latest attack is understood internationally.Mark Fitzpatrick, former State Department nonproliferation official, tweeted: “The reason for assassinating Fakhrizadeh wasn’t to impede Iran’s war potential, it was to impede diplomacy.” (New York Times, Nov. 29)Even former CIA Director John O. Brennan said the assassination of the Iranian scientist was “an act of state-sponsored terrorism” that could ignite a new round of conflict in the region.The Israeli chair of the Institute for National Security Studies, former Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, said that whoever operated in Tehran “has one eye, or maybe two, on Washington. If the Iranians respond it will enable President Trump to order his generals to act against them. And if they don’t, it could still possibly block the Biden administration from opening negotiations.”Powerful forces in the vast military and intelligence infrastructure are committed to the strictest form of U.S. sanctions, hoping to unleash a wider war which would enormously profit the military-industrial complex.Israeli role in attackThe U.S. corporate media is crediting Israel with this latest criminal attack. The Zionists have always been more than willing to play the role of U.S. imperialism’s attack dog in the region. Their genocidal repression of the Palestinian people and alliances with the brutal Saudi regime and corrupt Gulf State monarchies are two sides of the same coin.In fact, Israel could not survive without the endless stream of U.S. military, economic and diplomatic support. The U.S. has used its veto power against UN resolutions on Israel at least 43 times in recent decades. Total U.S. aid to Israel from 1946 to 2018 amounted to $236 billion. Almost all current U.S. aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance. (“U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” Nov. 16, Federation of American Scientists, Congressional Research Service) An article in Haaretz on Nov. 29 reminds their generals of who ultimately pulls the strings: “With all due respect to the intelligence and military cooperation between the two countries, which has become much more extensive in recent years due to the excellent relations Netanyahu had with Trump, Israel does not have equal standing with the United States. It is America that is transferring $3.8 billion in defense assistance to Israel every year, not the other way around.”U.S. agencies may claim little advance knowledge of the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, but the Israeli and U.S. governments are the closest of allies and have long shared intelligence regarding Iran.Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has refused to either confirm or deny the existence of nuclear weapons in its arsenal. But according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, “Israel is widely believed to possess 90 plutonium-based nuclear warheads and to have produced enough plutonium for 100-200 weapons.”Thus it is sheer hypocrisy to lambaste Iran for its peaceful development of nuclear energy.Will Biden be different?Michèle Flournoy, apparently President-elect Biden’s top choice for Secretary of Defense, is a well-known war hawk. As a Defense Department official in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, Flournoy had a key role in the criminal U.S. wars in Libya and Syria and the continuing war in Afghanistan.Flournoy has written countless policy papers promoting higher military spending, renewed military threats against Iran, and larger plan for transforming the U.S. military through trillion-dollar long-term investments in new weapons technology,Both the outgoing Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration are determined to continue the sanctions and war against Iran. The only differences revolve around how best to proceed. It is up to anti-imperialist forces in the U.S. and around the world to challenge this continuing assault against Iran. The sanctions, assassinations and military encirclement are a threat to both Iran and the people of the world.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
5 Jun 2015 Ian Attoe lives the dream to capture senior crown Worplesdon’s Ian Attoe lived his dream today when he won the English senior men’s open amateur championship by three shots on his home course.“It’s what I gave up work for,” said Attoe, who has swapped the life of a golf club secretary to concentrate on senior golf. “You hope you can win one event in a year and it’s beyond your wildest dreams you will win the English seniors – except you do dream!”Attoe, who has been a Worplesdon member for 40 years, had the first stirrings of the dream two years ago, when it was announced that Worplesdon and West Hill in Surrey would host this championship. “I started thinking about it and that it had to be an advantage to play on your own course,” he remembered.He gave up work in April to start playing senior golf and it all paid off today – after three sleepless nights!Attoe (image © Leaderboard Photography) started the final round two shots off the lead and finished three clear after scoring one-over 72 for a five-over par total.The runner-up was Andrew Atkinson (Windermere), who scored 73 today. Sharing third place, a further shot back, were former champion Chris Reynolds (Littlestone) and David Niven (Newbury & Crookham). Meanwhile the low score of the day was provided by Phil Sewell (Castle Royle) who went round in two-under 69 to share 13th place.The final round was, for the most part, a tight battle between the leading contenders. Tim Whittaker (Beaconsfield) set out with a two shot lead but after five holes had been caught by both Attoe and Atkinson.After the 10th – a picturesque par three over water – Atkinson and Attoe had moved into a one-shot lead. The next four holes proved telling, for Attoe played them in one under and built up a three-shot lead.However, it was anything but plain sailing home. Attoe topped shots on both the par five 15th and short 16th – but rescued himself on both occasions with his superb short game, salvaging respectively a birdie and a bogey.“I looked at the scoreboard after 14 and saw I had a three-shot lead and tried to play defensively. I had a couple of quick swings, but my putting stood up,” he said.He was certainly not defensive on the 17th, but fired a long drive into the perfect position to attack the green and narrowly missed a birdie. The 18th provided a final test when his approach rolled through the green, but again he played a lovely little pitch which finished close to the pin.That finishing flourish was one of the highlights of the round for Attoe, together with his three birdies on par fives, which he credited to the advantage of local knowledge. And he remarked: “I wanted to play well for the members who walked round, I didn’t want to let them down.”Now, he’s looking forward to Scottish, Welsh and British senior championships.Click here for the full scores
Facebook25Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)State fishery managers have given the OK for the second razor clam dig this month, this one scheduled to begin Jan. 13 at two ocean beaches.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the three-day opening at Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. Digging is not allowed on any beach before noon. The long weekend should provide an excellent opportunity for diggers to visit the coast for clamming, Ayres said. However, he noted the razor clam opening does not include the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides: Jan. 13, Friday, 7:17 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Copalis, MocrocksJan. 14, Saturday, 7:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis, MocrocksJan. 15, Sunday, 8:40 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, MocrocksUnder state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.Both Long Beach and Twin Harbors are closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. WDFW will continue to monitor toxin levels at all ocean beaches.A list of razor clam digs tentatively scheduled through February can be found on WDFW’s website at http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.