By Press TV
By Mohieddin Sajedi
US media have cast serious doubt on the recent allegations by the American government about Iran’s involvement in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington and blow up Israel’s embassy.
The suspicion has been so strong that the US President has been forced to repeatedly emphasize that if there were no solid evidence, Iran would not have been incriminated.
In this scenario, an Iranian American who has been tried on several occasions for tax evasion or drug smuggling has been allegedly recruited by Iran to contact a Mexican drug cartel, promising its members USD 1.5 million in return for the assassination of the Saudi ambassador. He had been even naïve enough to pay a down sum of USD 100,000 in advance.
If Iran really intended to do so, it should have hired a person like James Bond. This comes while the information thus far released by the US government depicts a person more like [the British comedian] Mr. Bean who had been nicknamed “Jack” because of his love for Jack Daniels whisky. Naturally, it is very easy for such a person to introduce himself as being in contact with the Iranian elements, especially agents of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds force.
Despite serious doubts raised by the American media about the authenticity of anti-Iran charges, it seems that no impartial group would be ever allowed to meet with the defendant and the US government will push ahead with its allegations. Therefore, even if the Iranian government produced strong evidence that it has nothing to do with the plot and does not approve of this phony scenario, Washington would not change its claims.
The important aspect of this issue seems to be the timing of charges against Iran and their possible consequences. The question has been raised in the American media as why President Obama, who has been aware of the plot since June, is announcing it at the present time? Even if allegations were correct, why has Iran never embarked on such assassination plots before? That is, after 9/11 or at the peak of the US invasion of Iraq? Whereas Iran’s Foreign Minister [Ali Akbar Salehi] clearly announced after his appointment that improving relations with Saudi Arabia and Turkey topped his political agenda, why should Iran take a step which would result in nothing but further frost in bilateral relations?
Other questions can be raised here, but perhaps the most important aspect of this story is its timeline. The great religious ceremony of Hajj, which should symbolize unity in the Islamic world, is approaching. Now, incriminating the Shiite Iranian government of attempting to harm the interests of the Sunni Saudi state and spreading it through Hajj pilgrimage will have no less effect than damaging the Islamic unity.
According to WikiLeaks cables, the 92-year old Saudi king is ill and has undergone another surgery in Riyadh. Naturally, the United States is concerned that after his absence from power and under the influence of the Arab Spring, the apparent calm in Saudi Arabia will be disturbed. By showing high concern about the life of the Saudi ambassador, Washington is trying to remind Saudi Arabia’s neighboring countries that it is still committed to protect the status quo in that country.
Iran’s nuclear case has lost its past functionality, and the US government needs a new excuse to persuade its allies into levying fresh sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Slapping sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran or boycotting the purchase of Iranian oil by the EU and Japan are already on the table. The possibility of approving these penalties in the UN Security Council is weak, but Washington and its allies have so far shown their willingness to make extensive interventions around the world outside the legal framework of the UN, exemplified most recently by the US-led invasion of Libya. And if China and Russia had not opposed the Security Council resolution against Syria, now we were witnessing a new intervention under the banner of supporting the Syrian people.
Some point to the forthcoming US presidential elections and the electoral contest which has already started between and within the two major American parties. Following the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Iran is seen as a grave threat to the US homeland security. Strikingly, US officials accuse Iran of trying to “massacre” the Americans and claim that the alleged potential bomb explosion in the favorite restaurant of the Saudi ambassador to Washington would have left over 100 people dead. The allegation is more like what George W. Bush brought up in the run up to the Iraq War in 2003, and notably it later became clear that at the time Iraq neither had any weapons of mass destruction at its disposal nor any relationship with al-Qaeda.
Aggrandizement and exaggeration of the security threat in the US will preoccupy its public opinion. Security comes before prosperity. This means that the Americans will give priority to the establishment of security and trust in the government over the country’s economic crisis.
The US allegation against Iran follows the release of two Americans who were in custody in Iran on charges of espionage. Some of the Iranian political parties express doubts and make speculations about the possibility of secret relationship between certain associates of the President Ahmadinejad and American statesmen. According to the statements of US government officials, the alleged plot is likely to have been hatched without the knowledge of all Iranian leaders. It should be noted that these remarks are highlighted in order to cause rifts and differences among Iranian statesmen.
One can even think of other probabilities, but the striking point in the US accusations against Iran is the juxtaposition of Saudi Arabia and Israel, whereby the Saudi envoy is supposed to be assassinated and the Israeli embassy blown up. This affinity is reminiscent of Bush’s attempts to set up a united front composed of Israel and other countries against Iran. What is described as the axis of Arab moderation has been dealt a heavy blow as a result of the Arab Spring and regional popular uprisings. Now leveling allegations against Iran may pave the way for the formation once again of such a coalition. The people of the region are opposed both to the non-democratic Arab states — all of which belonged to the moderation axis – and to the Israeli regime.
As long as the US government attempts, as it has traditionally done, to build a coalition among its proponents in the Middle East, it will find no way to penetrate the hearts and minds of people and its allegations will fall flat.