U.S. Tries to Prop up Iran Assassination Case With Misinformation

In an article on October 13, Gareth Porter of IPS News wrote that the alleged Iran plot to assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir might have been the result of a domestic sting operation. He analyzed the case’s amended criminal complaint — the legal document describing evidence — against Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar.

Arbabsiar allegedly asked a woman with whom he was acquainted whether she could introduce him to someone who “knew explosives.” She connected him with her nephew, an undercover federal informant whose meetings with Arbabsiar were recorded. Overlooked by others but noted by Porter on the tapes

The fact that not a single quote from Arbabsiar shows that he agreed to assassinating the ambassador, much less proposed it, suggests that he was either non-committal or linking the issue to something else, such as the prospect of a major drug deal with the cartel.

In other words:

On May 24, when Arbabsiar first met with the DEA informant he thought was part of a Mexican drug cartel, it was not to hire a hit squad to kill the ambassador. Rather, there is reason to believe that the main purpose was to arrange a deal to sell large amounts of opium from Afghanistan.

In fact (emphasis added)

… the absence of any statement attributed to Arbabsiar impl[ies] that the Iranian-American said nothing about assassinating the Saudi ambassador except in response to suggestions by the informant, who was already part of an FBI undercover operation.

In his latest piece, U.S. Officials Peddle False Intel to Support Terror Plot Claims, Porter writes:

The primary objective of the FBI sting operation involving Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar and a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant that was started last June now appears to have been to use Arbabsiar to implicate [his cousin Abdul Reza] Shahlai in a terror plot.

In the interim, reports had arisen that Shahlai, identified as a deputy commander in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, had planned the infamous 2007 Mahdi Army attack on U.S. troops in Karbala, Iraq. Porter again:

Officials of the Barack Obama administration have aggressively leaked information supposedly based on classified intelligence in recent days to bolster its allegation that [Shahlai and another Revolutionary Guard Corpsman were] involved in a plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

In short order

Michael Issikof of NBC News reported the same day that Shahlai “had previously been accused of plotting a highly sophisticated attack [Karbala] that killed five U.S. soldiers in Iraq, according to U.S. government officials and documents made public Tuesday afternoon.” … On Saturday, the Washington Post published a report closely paralleling the Issikof story but going even further in claiming. … that Shahlai “was known as the guiding hand behind an elite militia of the cleric Moqtada al Sadr”, which had carried [the Karbala attack].

When, in fact

… U.S. officials acknowledged in the months after the Karbala attack that they had found no evidence of any Iranian involvement in the operation. … Gen. David Petraeus conceded that [no evidence showed that an] Iranian official was linked to the planning of the Karbala operation. “[We] do not have a direct link to Iran involvement in that particular case.” [Also] Gen. Kevin Bergner confirmed that the attack in Karbala had been authorised by the Iraqi chief of the militia in question, Kais Khazali, not by any Iranian official.

Piling on untruths doesn’t make a plot already staggering under the weight of its credibility problems any more believable.