Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Iranian 'plot' to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States is odd, but not unlikely. There is, I think, an entire network of individuals and groups throughout the world that are ready to act should they receive instructions from Tehran.

Two men, one an an American-Iranian, Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian, have been charged in New York with the alleged "murder-for-hire" plot to pay a Mexican drug cartel to help assassinate Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador and close confidante of the Saudi king.
Over the past few years there have been many allegations that Iran, and Hezbullah, have connections with drug gangs and extensive networks in Latin America. This is the first time that something this substantial and is brought to the surface. Only Arbabsiar is in US custody, and Shakuri is thought to be in Iran. Still, I will be keeping my eyes open for 'arrests' or 'kidnappings' of Western citizens, but then again I doubt this man is very important for Tehran. Arbabsiar might not be released in a few years, when some exchange is arranged.

But what really interested me was the timing of all this, an assassination of a Saudi diplomat in Washington is a big deal. Doing so in an Arab country is possible and easy, but it will never be as public as Tehran would like it to be. Hitting the emissary of a key ally of the United States, in the heart of its capital, is a very direct, and provocative message. I think for that reason it's possible that this story is true. But what, really, can the United States do to Iran? More sanctions, more talk, and that's about it.

No comments: