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The Islamic Republic Prefers to Pull the Strings


14 Oct 2011 17:03Comments
173408796_PhotoL.jpgKeeping violence at arm's length, manipulating the faithful -- tried-and-true tactics that make this week's charges untenable.

[ opinion ] Iran has been accused of plotting to kill the Saudi envoy to the United States and now there is talk of the imposition of more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

For Iranians in the homeland, rather than the diaspora, the charges seem like an April Fool's joke and it is not surprising that the IRI, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and its notorious Quds Brigade have taken offense and called the accusations childish.

The IRI does not like getting its hands dirty and if the situation calls for an elimination or intervention, it has long outsourced. In the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, in which Iran was implicated, the person indicted was Lebanese Imad Mughniyah whose close ties with the Islamic Republic became known after the attacks.

In response to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's fatwa requiring the killing of Salman Rushdie, Lebanese Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh, who has a shrine in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, was the man who took it upon himself to carry out the hit. None of Khomeini's diehard Iranian supporters attempted to execute his decree.

(And true, when it comes to assassinating Iranian nationals, it has been a different matter.)

Every criminal needs a motive, and Iran had no motive to kill the Saudi ambassador. The outcome of such a hit would inevitably be to bring the Saudi monarchy and the U.S. government -- which have experienced some turbulence in their relations over the Palestinian statehood bid -- closer. This is not in the IRI's interest.

This is a time of Islamic Awakening, Arab Spring, and Iran finally "succeeding in exporting its Revolution to other countries" -- having the Kingdom fall out with the United States and find common ground with the IRI is more desirable than creating trouble that can be linked back to Tehran and ramping up tensions in its own neighborhood.

If such a plot had been hatched by the IRI, it would have gone something like this: Iran would find a Lebanese, Bahraini, or Palestinian willing to die for the faith and for a price considerably more than $1.5 million. The hitman would be paid and sent on his way. If he succeeded, Iran would condemn the attack and -- as one of the self-professed main victims of terrorism in the Middle East -- express sorrow over the loss of lives in the United States. Iran would offer its condolences to the Kingdom, as well, and propose to the al-Saud family that the time had come to listen to the Ummah's demands and distance itself from its Western benefactor.

Despite its incessant slamming of Saudi Arabia and the United States over Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine, and a slew of other issues, and despite encouraging other nations to fight the global arrogance spearheaded by the Americans, Iran has done nothing to actually aid in that struggle.

The reason is simple: Iranians do not have the dedication to blow themselves up, live as international terrorists, or fight a battle unless they absolutely have to defend their territorial integrity. No matter how substantial the pay. The IRI prefers to be the master manipulator, and to leave no paper trail.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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