Ten Reasons To Question US Allegations of Iranian Terror Plot

Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

There are plenty of valid reasons to doubt the veracity of US's allegation that it has foiled an Iranian terror plot involving a Mexican drug cartel, despite the western media frenzy aiming at the credibility and legitimacy of Iranian regime in the international community. On the whole, these reasons cast serious question marks on US's real motives and raise the distinct possibility of a historical deja vu, i.e., the repetition of the pre-Iraq war ferocious campaign of vilification and manufacturing WMD lies with much media complicity.
First, as Time Magazine has correctly put it, the Mexican drug cartel, known to have made a conscious decision to cease its prior crossborder killings, would never risk its lucrative 4 billion dollar annual business and commit a high profile murder in US capital for the sake of a pitiful 1.5 million dollars reportedly offered by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.
Second, no credible expert on Iran can possibly have faith in the official US story that the Iranian leaders would plot to murder a Saudi diplomat in Washington simply because of their unhappiness with some of Saudi behavior in the region. But, in spite of certain strains the overall compact of Iran-Saudi bilateral relations has remained intact and there is virtually no sense of panic in Iran about threats from Saudi Arabia that would warrant such a radical departure from the norm.
Third, as reflected in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conciliatory statements toward the US in his recent New York trip, Iran over the past few weeks actually harbored a new level of hope about improving relations with the US and the possibility of a breakthrough on the proposal for a nuclear fuel swap, supported by a number of leading American pundits in their opinion columns, and, in terms of timing of the purported plot, it has acted as a show stopper, nipping in the bud the fuel exchange and triggering a mini-tsunami of American hostility toward Iran instead.
Fourth, the Americans' claim that the highly secretive and elite Quds force of Iran's revolutionary guards would somehow consent to a terror plot on US soil brokered by an Iranian expatriate who was a used-car salesman and, apparently, took the lead in discussions with the Mexican cartel in terms of the feasibility of even murdering a number of US senators along with the Saudi ambassador, this belies all that is known about the Quds force and its history and, bottom line, cannot be minimally trusted.
Fifth, the US claim that the main suspect had travelled to Mexico to offer himself as "collateral" after wiring some 100,000 US dollars raises the question of why he did not have money on him and or transfer the remainder 1.4 millions, raising the distinct possibility that he simply did not have such money for a major operation like this. The US prosecutors are of course forgiven for not contemplating the scenario of a lone wolf or "false flag" operation, whereby some foreign governments enlist amateur recruits pretending to represent the target government. More important, there are inexplicable holes in the official US plot story, e.g., whereas initially it was claimed that money had been wired from Iran, it is now changed to wired from "undisclosed foreign entities." This simply means circumstantial instead of direct evidence, and a highly dubious one at that since it is easy to use a foreign bank and then point finger at Iran, relying on a Iranian expatriate-turned US citizen's complicity in a busted drug deal.
Sixth, the New York Times report that this story highly resembles a rejected movie scenario by Quentin Tarantino, about a used-car Iranian salesman approaching the Mexican drug cartel for terroristic purposes, may be more than a coincidence, given the past propensity of US government to use its creative imagination to demonize its adversaries on the global scene.
Seventh, the whole terror plot now triggering a spirited US effort to impose new UN sanctions on Iran is directly against the recent pattern of careful Iranian diplomacy that has been geared to preventing exactly such an outcome, principally by expanding cooperation with the IAEA and offering to suspend 20 percent enrichment if Iran is supplied with nuclear fuel for its medical reactor. Ignoring Iran's genuine overtures toward a reasonable resolution of the nuclear standoff, the US has now managed to turn the table on Iran by the manna from heaven of the "foiled plot." Indeed, how convenient, hitting so many birds with one stone, hoping to isolate Iran internationally by simply levelling the highly suspicious car salesman-turned-terrorist story.
Eighth, the news of the terror plot by Iran followed the news of fresh US and EU sanctions on Iran, targetting more Iranian companies and individuals including a number of present cabinet ministers, clearly showing the orchestration of a well-designed sequencing in anti-Iran initiative, escalating the tensions with Iran deliberately in order to pressure the country over its unwanted nuclear program and its recent regional gains.
Ninth, the public zeal with which the US has exploited the alleged Iranian terror plot, coinciding with the intensification of mass "anti-Wall Street" protests across the US, indicates that the US population is a main target of this story, with the reasonable expectation that the deflection effect of this sensational revelation could somehow dampen the momentum for further mass protest, by virtue of raising a serious national security issue that could trigger confrontation with Iran. Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, Ph.D.
Author of books on Iran, oped/letters in NYT/IHT