By M. Jay Shahidi, Former President
UN Association in Minnesota
Someone ordered the killing of an Iranian scientist again. For the peace of the world and humanity’s sake, I beg the leaders of Iran to show restraint and maturity and not retaliate in kind. In order to gain the moral high ground, they should bring their grievance to the United Nations and International Criminal Court. They should engage in diplomacy. That is how they can help move our bleeding world toward a higher level of security, justice and civility.
The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, 2020 was an illegal act under international law as well as the laws of most countries—including those of Iran, US and Israel. It was a terroristic, immoral and barbaric action which made the world much more dangerous by encouraging terrorism and promoting lawlessness and violence. Whoever ordered it should be charged and brought before a court in Iran as well as the International Criminal Court. No one, has the right to murder someone in cold blood. Even her/his enemy. Yes, we have an inherent right to self- defense. But it is absurd to accept the notion that this aging nuclear physicist sitting on the back seat of his car in Tehran posed an immediate threat to anyone!
This crime as well as the killing of General Soleimani in January who was on a peace mission, admittedly ordered by President Trump, has brought the US, Israel and Iran closer to all-out war. Violence has always begotten violence. Injustice has always led to bloodshed sooner or later. The teachings of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other great religions prohibit them.
Any such murderous conduct by anyone or any government anywhere must be unequivocally condemned. What about the nameless drivers and assistants who perished. Didn’t they have a right to life?
If any person, group or governmental leader considered these assassinated individuals guilty of criminal or threatening behavior, they should have brought their case before a domestic or international court of law, presented evidence and then pursued the judgment of that court—be it in absentia! That we should have learned after 8000 years of civilization!
We have killed each other for money, power and belief for over 50,000 years since the modern humans moved out of Africa. With the advent of World War II and the slaughter of 80-90 million souls, we devised a system of international law embodied in the United Nations in 1945. Let’s become legal. Let’s stop killing others who have opposing views and interests. Let’s talk. Let’s share. Let’s become finally civilized.
M. Jay Shahidi is a business owner, human rights activist, and member of the United Nations Association National Council.