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Blame Iran

Author: Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies
October 18, 2011
The Daily


Ever since the discovery of an Iranian plot to use Mexican gangsters to kill the Saudi ambassador, apologists for Iran have been claiming two things: that such a scheme was too amateurish for the supposedly professional Iranian intelligence service, and that there is no way senior Iranian leaders would have approved such a high-risk operation. Neither excuse stands up to much scrutiny.

Iranian fingerprints are all over this operation. U.S. officials have revealed that $100,000 was sent from a bank account associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to finance the killing. Admittedly, the use of an Iranian-born ne'er-do-well living in Texas — a reported hard drinker and drug user who had failed at one business after another — exposed the Iranians to ridicule. But that is simply a reflection of the fact that the Quds Force, which is responsible for external operations against the Iranian revolution's enemies, does not have a professional proxy force akin to Hezbollah in the United States.

No doubt they would have preferred to turn to a hardened terrorist such as the late Imad Mughniyeh, for decades their man in Lebanon — but, lacking such an operative in the U.S., they had to make do with a former used-car salesman. It is actually not at all unusual for a foreign intelligence service to employ such a marginal character; upstanding members of the community don't usually carry out killings for hire.

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