Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The alarm bells behind Iran’s alleged assassination plot

Amere moment or two after the Obama administration announced it had discovered and thwarted a plot by Iran to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant, the doubters started to air their doubts. Columnists and experts, even some columnists who were not experts, said the Iranians would never be so sloppy as to commit a virtual act of war by setting off a bomb in the nation’s capital. The alleged plot was crazy, they said. I agree. But so is Iran.

It’s not as if the Iranian intelligence services, particularly the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, usually operate deftly and leave no fingerprints. This is a regime that commenced what amounts to mass murder soon after it came to power. It executed not only its opponents but also its critics. It even went after exiled Iranians. In 1991, it murdered the former prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, in Paris. He was stabbed to death — how’s that for sloppy? — and in 2010, when France freed one of Bakhtiar’s killers, he was given a hero’s welcome in Tehran.

Iran was blamed by Argentine prosecutors for the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 and wounded at least 300. It has been implicated in the 1996 bombing of a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded another 372 people. It is the chief sponsor of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Both are terror organizations that Iran has used as proxies.

More recently, Iran is suspected of playing a role in the 2005 assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, five times prime minister of Lebanon and an immensely wealthy and effective businessman. He was killed when a bomb detonated as his car went by. This may well have been a group endeavor — Syria, Hezbollah and, in training and aid, Iran. Hariri was not only a force for stability but he was extremely close to the Saudi royal family and maintained a home in Riyadh. The Saudis took his death personally.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Richard Cohen wants to make sure the Jews vote for Obama.