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A Drama at the Junior-High Level

By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse

Like almost everyone else, I also heard the news and was shocked out of my wits that the Islamic Republic of Iran had attempted to assassinate a foreign ambassador on US soil! I actually went ahead and read the entire case document word for word trying to make some sense out of it. The whole thing was more than incredible, it was absolutely incredulous.

assassination of Richard Nixon - movie poster
"The Assassination of Richard Nixon" movie poster

I was expecting to read a scenario like something Tom Clancy could have contemplated. Instead, the accounts reflected in those documents read like a short adventure story written by a couple of junior- high drama class students, too lazy or too immature to research their material.

We are told that an obscure used-car dealer from Corpus Christi, Texas, with a rather peculiar name that doesn't even sound like a real Persian name, with a cousin who is supposedly a ranking officer in the highly sophisticated, elite, Quds (Special Operations) Force of the feared Revolutionary Guards unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran!!

This man meets with an FBI agent posing as a member of a notorious Mexican drug cartel in Mexico in order to make arrangements for the assassination of Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Washington, DC. The FBI secret agent is promised 1.5 million dollars to carry out this task, and a down-payment of $100,000 is transferred (allegedly from Iranian sources) to a New York bank account to start the process.

So, we are to believe, the Iranian regime, through its "elite" and "highly sophisticated" Special Operations forces appoints a rather strangely troublesome former Iranian used-car dealer from Texas to meet a member of a notorious Mexican drug mafia in Mexico to arrange to have him assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in a crowded restaurant in DC; is that it?

Some questions arise immediately:

  1. What would Iran gain by committing such a bold act that not only carries an unmistakable trail, but would likely result in going to war with the United States? How could Iran benefit by such an act?
  2. Couldn't the "elite and sophisticated" Quds command with its alleged network of some of the most notoriously sophisticated so-called terror networks take care of the Saudi Ambassador by itself, somewhere else, without resorting to a bumbling bum in Corpus Christy?
  3. Why send those "funds" to an easily traceable New York bank account and not to Mexico, where the alleged terrorist could have better access to it?
  4. Why did this alleged Iranian American used-car dealer so quickly volunteer to "confess" to all the charges? Was it perhaps the plan for him to play his part in this cheep spy drama to then be somehow exonerated, paid off and provided with a new identity somewhere else in the country?

But rather than suggest that these questions, as Reza Aslan, an Iranian American author and commentator mentioned in a short interview on CNN, should raise some skepticism, the media pundits and official Administration spokespeople's only question and concern is whether Iran's highest authorities were involved in the plot, or was it the action by some "rogue" elements within the Iranian regime. Now the ongoing debate in the  US Administration is, supposedly, whether the United States should attack Iran outright, should it embark on some limited, targeted, military action, or should it continue to ratchet up punishing sanctions against Iran, this time with Russian and Chinese approval and support.

Several opinion writers and commentators have expressed their views on this childishly transparent charade: Please see here, here, here, and here.

The bottom line of all these commentaries is that there is a serious drive toward a military confrontation between the United States and Iran. All except the commentary by Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi of NIAC, call the charges and allegations as purely fictitious and bogus. Parsi and Marashi suggest that, if the allegations prove true, as though there is the remotest probability, we will be approaching the "Come to Jesus" moment:

" This is what we call a real "come to Jesus" moment -- some hard decisions on war and peace need to be made, in Washington and Tehran. Unfortunately, given the history and politics involved, all signs are pointing in the wrong direction. It is often forgotten that in crises like this, it takes greater courage to stand for restraint and de-escalation than to opt for war and confrontation."

Now, how about a somewhat different take on the same theme:

Why would the American Administration create such a transparently childish scenario that could so easily be refuted as bogus? Couldn't the scenarists have done a more convincing job? Is it because the initial impact on the gullible public mindset is effective, anyhow, thanks to the contributions by the wide-eyed news anchors and analysts who thrive on the sensational with no respect for the truths?  In other words, is it a politically motivated construct as the 2012 elections draw near? Is it to appease the Zionists and Israel supporters for various reasons amply discussed in the above hyperlinked references?

Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion. He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.
More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at:

It could be any one or all of the above. Or, is it, as I believe, because the fabricators of this outlandish tale actually do expect the scenario to unravel as did the "yellow cake" episode, demonstrating how easily a bogus plot or an accidental mishap could lead to wars of aggression with devastating results. Perhaps this is the opportunity both sides need to consider opening diplomatic channels between the two countries, as well as a hot-line between the US and the Iranian armed forces commands, to avoid the probability of an accidental military conflict.

I personally prefer to think of this charade as a potential new opening between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Go ahead, call me a naive optimist if you like.

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