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The Iranian Plot

Yesterday, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the arrest of an Iranian American citizen, Mansour J. Arbabsiar, as the central character in a plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador in Washington.  Arbabsiar was the go between a member of the Al Quds division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and what he thought was a Mexican drug cartel which was to supply to assassins.  However, Arbabsiar was actually dealing with an FBI informant and not the Mexican cartel.  The plot was disrupted after the Al Quds member wired $1oo,ooo to a US bank account.

Immediately, independent national security and Iranian experts raised doubts about this plot being carried out by the Iranian government.  First, Iranian intelligence services are highly professional and almost always use proxies so black ops can’t be traced back to the government.  Second, any Iranian spy would know that transferring $100,000 as a ‘down payment’ for the assassination to a US bank account raises an immediate red flag.  Third, using a drug cartel would again be counter to how Iran normally operates.  Fourth, why on US soil?

However, according to Bloomberg:

After he was arrested, Arbabsiar agreed to phone Shakuri in Iran in calls that were monitored, the U.S. said in the criminal complaint. During the calls, Shakuri told Arbabsiar to move forward with the plot “as quickly as possible.”

Shakuri also told Arbabsiar during the call that he would consult with his superiors about whether they would be willing to pay additional money for the hit men.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in regional rivalry with much animosity between them.  But killing the Saudi Ambassador on US soil is not in Iran’s interest – or so it would seem.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government denounced the charges as fabrications made by the US.  Ayatollah Khamenie charged ‘“the corrupted capitalist system shows no mercy to any nation, including the American people.”

UN Ambassador Rice is scheduled to brief the Security Council on the plot today.  There is speculation among those who study Iran that the plot may have been set in motion by a rogue groups in Al Quds acting as a drug cartel within Iran.








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Al Queda Angry at Ahmadinejad?

At the UN General Assembly last week, Iranian President Ahmadinejad suggested that a US government conspiracy resulted in the 9/11 attacks against the WTC.   Now Al Queda is complaining!  The New York Times reports that an Al Queda has attacked Ahmadinejad for spreading such a rumor and taking credit away from them.  You can’t make this up…

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Two Hikers Freed by Iran

Two hikers, who were arrested as spies by Iran and sentenced to eight years in prison, have been released and left Tehran.  Two journalists with the AP broke the story when they  “saw a convoy of vehicles with Swiss and Omani diplomats leaving Evin prison Wednesday afternoon with Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal inside, heading to an airport in the capital Tehran.”

The hikers release became a political football between competing factions of the Iranian hierarchy, with President Ahmadinejad working to have them freed before the UN General Assembly opened this week.

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Another Iranian Scientist Picked Off

Foreign Policy runs a report by German magazine Der Spiegel about the latest assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist:

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency carried out the assassinations of several Iranian nuclear scientists in recent months, which has led to “the virtual decimation of the Islamic republic’s elite physicists,” according to Germany’s Der Spiegel. The latest victim — 35-year-old physicist Darioush Rezaei — was shot in the throat in front of his daughter’s kindergarten in Tehran on July 23. The attackers fled on motorcycle.

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