On November 27, 2020, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, was assassinated. NIAC Action and Win Without War have released the following Talking Points to place that act in its proper context, separate fact from fiction, and help guide the discussion going forward:
- The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was blatantly illegal and counterproductive to the cause of peace. We condemn it in the strongest terms.
- Though observers widely believe the attack was carried out by Israel, the assassination was clearly enabled by Trump and Pompeo’s long, egregious record of disregard for international law and four years of failed, dangerous, and cruel “maximum pressure” policies.
- This reckless act is just one more piece of an ongoing campaign to torpedo the prospects of reviving the Iran deal and sabotage the Biden administration’s chances of fostering peace and security through diplomacy. Trump’s lame duck imposition of additional sanctions on Iran, refusal to condemn the attack, and measures to escalate regional tensions — such as ramming through $23 billion in arms to the UAE — are all a part of the same effort.
- Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign has been a maximum failure. Years of hostility, military brinkmanship, and deadly sanctions have only served to ratchet up tensions and bring our countries repeatedly to the brink of war while causing immense suffering for people in Iran. Now, he wants to cover up his failure by undermining Biden’s ability to fix it.
- The maximum pressure campaign isn’t about leverage — it’s about regime change. We believe that the people in Iran, not Washington, should determine their own government. The maximum pressure campaign has only served to fuel brutal repression and undermine those struggling for change in Iran.
- The Biden administration wants to clean up the mess that Trump’s warmongering has left behind, including by fulfilling Biden’s campaign promise to swiftly rejoin the JCPOA. To make that a reality, we must be clear: the only option for engagement with Iran is through diplomacy, not war.
Open or download this Policy Resource as a PDF here.