IF AMERICA WERE ASSASSINATING DISSIDENTS ABROAD, even more weenies would be calling for military action against the United States. But when Iran does it it’s something to be kept quiet, apparently:

A prominent Iranian dissident living in Paris is charging that the Iranian government tried to kill him last month.

A man wearing a concealing hat and sunglasses entered the office of Arman Nouri, a Paris dental surgeon, on July 16, claiming to need emergency attention. Dr. Nouri says that the man lay down in the examination chair.

When the dentist turned around to wash his hands, the man stabbed him with a knife in the back, shoulder and stomach areas while shouting, “We warned you! We warned you!” . . .

The attempt on Dr. Nouri’s life is one of several incidents that indicate the Iranian government, in the face of widespread popular unrest, is increasingly cracking down against its political opponents.

This week, anti-government protests have been occurring in several major Iranian cities. While public attention worldwide has focused on the possibility that America will topple Iraq, one member of what President Bush has called the “Axis of Evil,” a little-noticed popular uprising against another Axis power, Iran, is building momentum.

The Iranian regime, which America considers the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, is apparently taking the challenge seriously enough to respond with violence. . . .

In February of this year, an attempt was made on the life of an Iranian dissident lawyer and Shiite Muslim cleric in Germany named Mehdi Haeri. A man visited Mr. Haeri with a briefcase containing brass knuckles, a knife and an electric shock device, claiming that a fatwah had been issued against him for his critical writings and his frequent assistance to Muslim clerics wanting to flee Iran as refugees to Germany. Luckily, Mr. Haeri had been alerted of the danger to his life before the assailer’s visit and police were on hand to arrest the man before he could attack. Mr. Haeri said German authorities have repeatedly warned him to keep quiet about what happened.

Yes, God forbid that word should get out. People might start expecting action.