Democrats outraged over assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist

Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, has been killed, The New York Times reported Friday.

Considering the dangers that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the rest of the world, many have celebrated the news. But, as The Daily Caller reported, the news of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination outraged some Democrats.

Democrats’ response

Following the news of Fakhrizadeh’s death, a number of high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, condemned the move.

“This is an outrageous action aimed at undermining diplomacy between an incoming US administration and Iran,” Rhodes tweeted Friday. “It’s time for this ceaseless escalation to stop.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) also criticized the move, but the most vehement condemnation of all came from former CIA Director John Brennan.

“This was a criminal act & highly reckless,” he wrote in the first of three tweets. “It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.”

Brennan argued that, if a government did sponsor this assassination, which he called “state-sponsored terrorism,” then it would be “a flagrant violation of international law.” He then tried to distinguish this assassination from “strikes against terrorist leaders & operatives of groups like al-Qaida & Islamic State,” explaining that the latter “are not sovereign states” and thus not protected by international law.

Republicans’ response

Leading the way in responding to Brennan was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“It’s bizarre to see a former head of the CIA consistently side with Iranian zealots who chant ‘Death to America,'” Cruz tweeted. “And reflexively condemn Israel. Does Joe Biden agree?”

Liberal journalist Yashar Ali highlighted an obvious double standard.

“During the Obama admin, 4 Iranian nuclear scientists were killed and one was nearly killed. While the Obama admin (of which Brennan was a part of) denied US involvement & condemned violence, language like this was never used. @JohnBrennan should weigh in on those killings as well,” Ali tweeted.

Who was behind the attack on Fakhrizadeh still remains unclear. Some have suggested Israel, but this has yet to be confirmed.

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