I didn’t want to say anything, but… (the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador)
Posted by Charles II on October 13, 2011
Juan Cole is apparently not completely convinced that the alleged plot by Iranian Manssor Arbabsiar to hire a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador was for real:
I am frankly shocked that Eric Holder should have brought us this steaming crock, which is now being used to make policy at the highest levels. That a Mexican former drug runner being paid by the US taxpayers might have thought he could advance his career by playing mind games with a somewhat crazy Iranian expatriate is no surprise. That you could put fantastic schemes in Arbabsiar’s mind if you worked at it seems obvious. That anyone in the DOJ or the US foreign policy establishment would take all this seriously is not plausible. I conclude that they are being dishonest, and that this is Obama’s turn to wag the dog as he faces defeat at Romney’s well-manicured hands next year this time.
I was skeptical about this, as I am of any news that portrays Iran as a threat. Iran, because of its geographical position in between the Russian, Ottoman, and Babylonian empires (not to mention miscellaneous Romans, Macedonians, British etc.), tend to be cautious. To a fault. Yes, they did seize the American embassy 30 years ago. Yes, some of their politicians are nutty (though they’d blend in well at a GOP debate). But it’s very uncharacteristic of the Iranians to do anything likely to provoke a serious response, especially over relatively small stakes like an ambassador, especially when there’s such a high probability of being caught.
Now that Juan Cole has said it, I think the question ought to be on everyone’s lips: is this yet another example of our Justice Department entrapping marginal people into crimes they would never have contemplated without substantial coaxing?
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