The New York Times reports that the FBI has broken up an Iranian-backed plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel Al-Jubair, as well as bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, DC and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Iran says it’s all a fabrication. A Saudi official says Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations are likely to be ruptured. That sounds about right.

This certainly doesn’t do anything to convince that Iran isn’t playing a role in Shi’a-Sunni conflicts in the Gulf States. If Iran were concerned about Arab Shi’ites, it would back off its aggressive tactics against those states instead of giving the governments an easy excuse to avoid necessary reforms.

U.S. Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy
J. David Goodman

Federal authorities foiled a plot by men linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a news conference on Tuesday.

The men accused of plotting the attacks were Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, according to court documents filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York. The Justice Department said men are originally from Iran.

There is “no basis to believe that any other co-conspirators are present in the U.S.,” Mr. Holder said.

… Abdullah Alshamri, a Saudi official in Riyadh, predicted the disclosure would send Iranian-Saudi relations to “their lowest point yet.” Though no government steps had been taken, he suggested that a diplomatic row was inevitable.

“We’re expecting from our government a serious and tough reaction to give a message to the Iranians that enough is enough,” he said by telephone. “If we keep our diplomatic ties with the Iranians, they will think we are weak and they will keep trying to attack us.”

He said this was only the latest Iranian attempt to attack Saudi diplomats.

“This is their hobby,” he said. “Iran has no respect for international law.”

The criminal complaint filed by the FBI can be found at this link [21-page PDF].

H/T Outside the Beltway

UPDATE: Saudi media today (10/12/2001) appears to have not had time to assess the story. They are all running international wire service reports or modifications thereof. I expect that there will be substantive commentary put together over the weekend.

October:11:2011 - 14:42 | Comments & Trackbacks (8) | Permalink
8 Responses to “UPDATE: Iran up to Tricks?”
  1. 1
    Andrew Said:
    October:11:2011 - 16:56 

    If Iran were truly interested in Arabs (be they shi’a or not) they would provide full freedoms for their own Arab minority.

    They would also endorse the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights and apply it within their country.

    Rather, the clerical establishment that rules Iran engages in a variety of activities, all in the name of religion, such as prostitution, political assassinations, narcotics trafficking, and many others.

    Iran preaching about rights is akin to a nudist preaching the benefits of woolen summer clothing — ridiculous.

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    October:11:2011 - 17:15 

    Woolen summer clothing might be effective against sunburn and insect bites… you never know!

  3. 3
    John Burgess Said:
    October:12:2011 - 06:13 

    BTW, three comments by a ‘Jamaes’ have been deleted as they held nothing but sectarian and sexual insults.

  4. 4
    E Truesdale Said:
    October:12:2011 - 08:36 

    Richard Clark on NPR yesterday said that this wasn’t the typical MO for the Iranians, particularly the savvy Kudz force, and that ‘everyone’ in government who’s looked at this is perplexed as to why the Iranians would operate in a seemingly out of character and rather amateurish manner. Raise any flags in your professional opinion?

  5. 5
    John Burgess Said:
    October:12:2011 - 08:56 

    In itself, the attempt to use Mexican narco gangs doesn’t raise red flags for me. Those gangs have demonstrated their abilities to infiltrate the US, are well-armed, and provide a convenient cut-out in terms of ‘deniability’. Those are all strong factors supporting their use. That the plot–at least as described in the charging document–was amateurish doesn’t mean that it’s fake, only that it was handled less than professionally by some element of the Iranian government.

    At the moment, we have only the allegations, though they are supported by the confession of the principal. It’s not proved in any court yet, but I see nothing that signals that this is pure bunkum, either.

  6. 6
    Saudi Jawa Said:
    October:12:2011 - 11:26 

    I have a feeling that while Iran will be putting out a defiant face (as usual), behind the scenes some heads are going to roll. This is a major cluster f*** for the Iranian government no matter how you look at it.

  7. 7
    E Truesdale Said:
    October:12:2011 - 11:57 

    Thanks for the insights, not that either scenario (they did it/they were framed) is great.

  8. 8
    Dakota Said:
    October:12:2011 - 15:14 

    So did they use waterboarding to get the confession?

    [Seriously though, it might give the Iranian government an excuse to clean house and change direction.]

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