On Sept. 21, 1976, as his car rounded Sheridan Circle on Embassy Row, former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier was assassinated by car bomb. Ronni Moffitt, a 25-year-old American women who worked with Letelier at the leftist Institute for Policy Studies, died with him.
Michael Townley, an ex-CIA asset in the hire of Chile's intelligence agency, confessed to using anti-Castro Cubans to murder Letelier, in what was regarded as an act of terrorism on U.S. soil.
Which raises a question: Are not the murders of four Iranian scientists associated with that nation's nuclear program, by the attachment of bombs to their cars in Tehran, also acts of terrorism?
Had the Stalin- or Khrushchev-era Soviets done this to four U.S. scientists in Washington, would we not have regarded it as acts of terrorism and war?
Iran has accused the United States and Israel of murder. But Hillary Clinton emphatically denied any U.S. complicity: "I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran."
"The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this," added National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, "We strongly condemn all acts of violence, including acts of violence like this."
Victoria Nuland, Clinton's spokeswoman at State, denounced "any assassination or attack on an innocent person, and we express our sympathies to the family."
The assassinated scientist was a supervisor at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility that hosts regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. If Iran is building a bomb, it is not at Natanz.
U.S. denial of involvement leaves Mossad as the prime suspect. Israel has not denied it, and this comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-Israeli relations.
In Foreign Policy magazine, author and historian Mark Perry, claiming CIA documentation, alleges that Mossad agents in London posed as CIA agents and contacted Jundallah, a terrorist group, to bribe and recruit them to engage in acts of terror inside Iran.
Jundallah has conducted attacks in Sistan-Baluchistan province, killing government officials, soldiers, and women and children.
According to Perry, when George W. Bush learned of the Mossad agents posing as CIA while recruiting terrorists, he "went totally ballistic."
Yet Meir Dagan, head of Mossad at the time, denies it, and, ironically, has called any Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities "the stupidest thing I have ever heard."
Who is telling the truth? We do not know for sure.