Over Thanksgiving weekend  somebody pulled off a very sophisticated and audacious hit on Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Iran.
    Fakhrizadeh was an Iranian nuclear scientist. He had been the head of Iran’s program to develop an atomic bomb. Iran hasn’t had an active atomic bomb program for about 17 years, but Fakhrizadeh would have been key to restarting it.
    Not now.
    Fakhrizadeh was in a car in a motorcade near a town in northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea. He was ambushed and the ambush was really high tech. A pickup truck in the road in front of the motorcade had a machine gun mounted in it. Apparently operated by remote control, it opened fire. Fakhrizadeh was hit twice and died of his wounds in a hospital. After the machine gun peppered the motorcade, explosives  detonated in the truck, destroying it.
    Nobody has taken credit for the ambush and Iranian President blames Israel. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility.
    Rouhani is probably right. It was very clever and technically sophisticated, so there are only a few countries in the world that could have pulled it off. The audacious nature of the ambush pretty much rules us out, but audacious is certainly something the Israelis specialize in.
    Why would Israel do it? In particular, why would Israel do it now?
    The fact that Joe has been talking about reentering Barack Obama’s stupid nuclear deal with Iran provides a clue. This strike seems aimed at making it harder for Joe to do it.
    Rouhani has vowed revenge, but said he isn’t going to fall into Israel’s “trap”. What “trap” may that be? I bet Rouhani doesn’t know and Iran’s parliament seems to be in the process of doing Israel a great favor.
    Iran’s parliament has begun the process of adopting legislation that would allow Iran to block access, by U. N. inspectors, to sites not formally declared as nuclear sites. It would also allow Iran to begin stockpiling highly enriched uranium. The Wall Street Journal noted that this would gut what’s left of Obama’s 2015 nuke deal and will probably push the Europeans to leave the deal.
    At that point there will no longer be a deal for Joe to return to as the 2015 deal will be dead. Joe may not have the mental agility, any more, to grasp this problem, but I’m sure Vice President Kamala Harris will be able to explain it to him as she has a couple of months to do it. She may have to explain it more than once as he will probably forget what she told him.
    So, it appears that Israeli Prime Minister has outwitted Joe before the senile old fellow has even been inaugurated.
    Meanwhile, Rouhani’s talk about not falling into Israel’s “trap” .gives him cover. His government risks losing face if it doesn’t try to retaliate, but Rouhani’s language gives him a way to avoid that problem. Avoiding actually taking revenge is something he may want to do as his options for doing so successfully, without getting himself in big trouble, are very limited.
    Rouhani does not want to start a war with Israel as Iran will most likely get its butt kicked if he does. Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states would jump in on Israel’s side. That would be a lot of firepower and Israel has one of the most sophisticated armed forces in the world.
    Iran could rely on Hezbullcrap … oh what’s its real name? You know, the Shia militia that runs Lebanon and is fighting in Syria. Anyway, Iran could work out a plan with those fun loving boys, but that is something I’m sure Israel is watching out for. The Israelis are probably also looking out for something from Hamas in Gaza. Action by either of these groups will be more form than substance, generating a dramatic news story and accomplishing nothing.
    If they really want to make an effective strike at Israel the Iranians will have to come up with something that will catch the Israelis by surprise. My guess is that the Iranians are not clever enough to come up with something like that, put it together and pull it off without Israeli intelligence detecting it and figuring out what the bearded fellows are up to. The Iranians probably won’t get any further than the Boys from Michigan did with their plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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