October 12, 2011
The Obama administration plans to use an unproven accusation leveled against Iran to mount a new international sanctions campaign and possibly attack the country.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced it had uncovered a plot by Iran to enlist a member of a Mexican drug cartel to kill Saudi Arabia’s envoy in Washington, D.C. The FBI and the DEA uncovered the plot, according to officials. The FBI has a long track record of using informers and agents provocateurs to entrap dupes who are then described as dangerous terrorists.
Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen holding an Iranian passport, allegedly arranged for the assassination by contacting a man he thought worked for a Mexican drug cartel, but was in fact a DEA agent. Arbabsiar was arrested on September 29 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“The [first] meeting, which took place in May in Mexico, was the first of a series that would result in an international conspiracy by elements of the Iranian government to pay the informant $1.5 million to murder the Ambassador on U.S. soil, according to documents we filed today in court,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “According to the complaint, those discussions led Arbabsiar — with Shakuri’s approval – to facilitate the wiring of approximately $100,000 into a bank account in the United States as a down payment for the attempted assassination.”
Gholam Shakuri, described as Arbabsiar’s contact, has also been charged in connection with the alleged plot but remains at large.
The plot was not Arbabsiar’s idea. It was suggested by the DEA agent, who told Arbabsiar that he would need four men to carry out the assassination and that his price was $1.5 million, according to Channel 6 News.
At the State Department, Hillary Clinton praised what amounted to entrapment. “It was a terrific achievement by our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and we will be consulting with our friends and partners around the world about how we can send a very strong message that this kind of action, which violates international norms, must be ended,” she said.
The U.S. will now use the case to call for more severe sanctions against Iran. The current sanctions are considered weak and unlikely to stop Iran from continuing its nuclear energy program. China, Russia, India and Turkey have resisted more stringent sanctions that endanger business deals with Iran.
In January, Israel’s military spy agency chief Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi said the current sanctions are not working. Israel has been at the forefront of the ongoing effort to use military force against Iran under the pretext of preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The Council on Foreign Relations also considers sanctions imposed by the United Nations ineffective. It said last July that if sanctions fail the United States will have to look at using military force to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
“If this sanctions-based strategy doesn’t compel Iran to the negotiating table in a meaningful way, the United States and its allies will need to look at the other options, which include military force, containment, and fostering political change in Iran,” Meghan L. O’Sullivan of the CFR said in an interview.
At the 2010 Bilderberg meeting held in Spain, a consensus was reached about attacking Iran. “Some of them in Europe are saying no we shouldn’t do it but most of them are in favor of American air strikes on Iran,” reported Bilderberg sleuth Jim Tucker, citing his inside sources. “They’re tilting heavily towards green lighting a U.S. attack on Iran.”
The next step is to take the allegation to the United Nations and push for stronger sanctions, possibly including military action. “The United States and Saudi Arabia and other allies are discussing the possibility of taking this to the security council because this is an assault on a foreign diplomat in the U.S.,” said an unnamed diplomat, Reuters reports today.
Additionally, the State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens, warning of the potential for anti-U.S. action, Reuters reports. “The U.S. government assesses that this Iranian-backed plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador may indicate a more aggressive focus by the Iranian government on terrorist activity against diplomats from certain countries, to include possible attacks in the United States,” it said in a statement posted on its website.
This article was posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 8:10 am