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Not so much a murder plot as a screenplay

Adrian Hamilton:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

World View: This is not how Tehran operates. On the whole it avoids direct confrontation

 You couldn’t make it up. An Iranian-American paying $1.5m to Mexican drugs gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, and all at the behest of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps back in Tehran. All we needed was a beautiful blonde to entrap the Arab and Jason Bourne to rescue him from certain death and the scenario would be complete.

 But is it made up? It’s not impossible that it is true. Stranger things have happened in the netherworld of Middle East terrorism. And Iran, or at least elements in it, such as the Revolutionary Guard, has form for violence abroad. There is still the suspicion that it was Tehran who paid Libya to carry out the Lockerbie bombing in revenge for the shooting down of an Iranian arliner by the USS Vincennes in 1988.

 Yet, to go around hiring Mexican hitmen to carry out a diplomatic assassination in the US capital is so hare-brained and so ridiculously amateurish that it beggars belief that a people as sophisticated as the Iranians would try it. Tehran has little time for Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, but the oil kingdom is far too rich and far too well-connected internationally to risk outright conflict with. Even during the Saudi-backed suppression of the demonstrations in Bahrain, Tehran’s government kept its distance.

 Nor, at this moment, would Tehran see it in its interests to risk an open bust-up with Washington by killing the representative of its closest Arab ally on US soil. It’s not the way the Iranian government operates. It likes to tease its opponents, divide its enemies, but on the whole it avoids direct confrontation abroad. If Tehran is now so emphatic in its denial it may well be because it is genuinely outraged at the idea.

That has not stopped Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, and the UK Prime Minister from taking the plot as proved and, in Mrs Clinton’s words, reinforcing “the well-grounded suspicions of many countries about what they’re up to”. But then that is the problem with Washington when it comes to Iran. It is obsessed with the threat from Tehran and absolutely convinced of the malevolence of its every action. Behind every obstacle, the US, like Israel, sees the dark hand of Tehran.

 In the years of conflict following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, American generals and politicians constantly blamed Iran for directing and arming the resistance, despite Iran’s delight in the fall of Saddam and the absence of any proof that the roadside bombs were made in Iran and delivered by the Revolutionary Guard. The same is true in Afghanistan, where US paranoia about Iran has led to the seizure of several Iranians with diplomatic status.

 In Washington’s Manichean view of the world, where Islamic fundamentalism has replaced communism as the necessary global enemy to be combated, Iran has been erected into a monster, intent on creating an arc of Shia power in the Middle East, undermining the West at every point and with every means available to it, and determined to dominate the region and destroy Israel through the secret development of nuclear weaponry.

 Paranoia inevitably breeds paranoia on the other side and Tehran is certainly not free from it. It’s not a nice regime, not by a long chalk. It is particularly nasty to its own citizens. But far from being a spider-like weaver of dastardly plots abroad, at the moment it is far too caught up in the battle for power between President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei to concentrate on the wider world.

 Of course it’s always possible that some element of the security forces, or even some individuals, have been up to amateur assassination theatrics. But it is also more than possible that the latest plot is the result of an over-heated imagination and entrapment by the FBI. It was only a decade ago, after all, that President Bush was proclaiming the “foiling” of an al-Qa’ida terror plot among the Yemeni-Americans of Buffalo, New York and that all fizzled into nothing.

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Source – The Independent –  Not so much a murder plot as a screenplay

One Response

  1. Zion says:

    Wow, the level of stupidity in this site is snaggeritg. For those who can’t tell the difference between Oil and Nuclear Bomb: Nuclear Bombs kill millions, Oil doesn’t do that. Nuclear Bomb will undeniably destabilize the region, but Oil does not jump start an arm race. Plus, under Mossadegh, it was the height of the Cold War and the logic was a lot different. Can’t you seriously tell the difference?!With regards to double standard comment: Iran is the biggest supporter of Terrorism around the globe. It is also the center stage for future conflict in the region. Therefore it would take priority over any other country in the region. At the same time, keep in mind: even though Human Rights are a concern for the News Media, but the focus is on the possibility of hope and of course prevention of armed conflict. It is News, they will cover events that are most important to the people and of course to world politics. They are in a business of News and it is a profit driven business. I have never heard a news group claiming to have promotion of Human Rights as their agenda. They will cover what news readers are more interested about and of course they will give priority based on those preferences… Supply and Demand….DUHHHHHH!!!Seriously man, what’s w/ these stupid comments? Although I do agree with the first comment, it is unlikely that Iranian illegitimate regime would invest energy into investigating and coercing outside activist in order to restore order inside Iran. They have certainly done this before, but it was during the era where Iran was fairly stable. At this point, their main concern is to focus and invest resources on forces within Iran. At least it is a logical thing to do in my opinion.

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