Iran Terror Plot: If Confirmed, Blow Up Rational Actor Assumption on Nukes

An elaborate plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, and to blow up two embassies in Washington D.C., was recently uncovered by the FBI and intelligence agencies, and it implicates an eye-opening set of accomplices: Iran, Hezbollah, and Mexican drug cartels.  The case, announced by beleaguered Attorney General Eric Holder, who is the center of attention in the Fast and Furious scandal, involves two captured Iranian guard-connected operatives, and an FBI intercept of a money transfer traced back from Mexican drug cartels to the Iranians.

The Iranian agency said to be involved is the al Quds force, described in one report as having “substantial capabilities for asymmetric warfare and covert operations.” Earlier in 2010, for example, al Quds was reported by The Pentagon to be active in Venezuela. (Spanish source.) The group is know to work with Hezbollah, but has yet to be confirmed as targeting the United States before on its own domestic soil.

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The matter at hand is whether or not the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was directed by a weakening Mahmoud Ahmedenijad to engage in risky foreign adventurism, potentially to try to save his presidency with a “rally around the flag effect” (a concept much disputed by political experts), or if these were rogue agents looking to strike a blow against mortal enemies in Saudi Arabia and Israel. One analyst even went so far as to say that if the Iranian government is involved, it effectively constitutes an “act of war.”

It is crucial to find out is if Ahmadenijad can truly be traced to the plot because it would blow up the rational actor assumption argument about Iran’s intentions. If Iran is a rational actor, it might be pursuing nuclear weapons as a matter of deterrence; in other words, because it feels threatened. But if it is aggressively exporting terror to the West, using asymmetrical warfare and covert operations in the face of overwhelming retaliation if it gets caught, then American and its NATO associates may be facing something more dangerous and nefarious on its hands. [Continued on Political Crush]

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2 thoughts on “Iran Terror Plot: If Confirmed, Blow Up Rational Actor Assumption on Nukes

  1. I’ve never thought Iran’s leadership to be at all rational, but this defies logic. If this was indeed a state sponsored operation, then the sponsoring state is not only irrational, but certifiably insane. Unless they know something we don’t. According to ABC News,

    That a foreign government would plot to kill a foreign leader on American soil could be seen as an act of war, but Obama administration officials say the path the U.S. government will purse will align with American interests – and a military response and possible armed conflict with a third Muslim nation would not be part of that. (Though, it should be noted, the official White House position is “no option is off the table.”)

    Ahmadinejad has said he knew nothing about any plot, and he accused the U.S. of concocting the entire thing.

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