The Justice Department charged that this constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, adding "should the allegations be confirmed." The Iranian government categorically denies this latest round of US cheap propaganda, and it is true that the US does not deny using this specific case, yet to be proved as the Justice Department admits, in order to rally international and domestic support. Vice president Biden said: "It's critically important that we unite the world in the isolation of and dealing with the Iranians." He added that the US takes nothing off the table regarding future action toward Iran, a not so veiled threat intended to send a message around the world that the US will go the next step, whatever that may be.
The third-year US cold war with Iran notwithstanding, and given that it is very early and very difficult to know which side is telling the truth, it seems logical that the US would have shared the 'evidence' in its possession with Saudi Arabia, and there should have been at the very least some kind of criticism against Tehran by the Saudis at the same time as the US went public with it. When one looks for news stories of Saudi reaction to the Iranian plot, all one sees is US reaction followed by a Saudi response that it will demonstrate its opposition by considering withdrawing its ambassador from Tehran.
When Iranian officials argue that they have normal relations with Saudi Arabia, it is obviously a stretch given the longstanding rivalry between the two countries, but one would think Saudi Arabia would be the one to create the uproar about this alleged plot, and secondarily the US because its soil would be violated if such a plot were real. Maybe there have been secret communications between Saudis and Iranians, and maybe we will see an official line on this story in the next few days. But why has the US gone public and not the Saudis?
It is indeed very serious if any government officials are involved in assassination plot of officials from other nations. The US knows this very well because it has a long history of covert operations that involved political assassinations, as the Frank Church committee uncovered in 1975. Not that Iran is made up of boy scouts who would not use the opportunity to engage in some reckless activity, but one must wait for solid evidence, as well as an official Saudi comment about this plot. Another possibility is that Iran may be on the receiving end of a US campaign of distraction. But why now?
1. The US economy is not performing well and unemployment is at historically high levels, prompting more people to embrace the New York-based grassroots movement.
2. Iraq is defying the US and assisting the existing government of Syria, demonstrating once again that one can never be sure about the 'devil you don't know'.
3. The recent UN revelations about systematic torture of Afghan prisoners, and the sharp rise of opium production and export is very embarrassing to the Obama team that made Afghanistan its major focal point in the war on terror.
4. EU is in as chaotic state of affairs as it has ever been without an end in sight. The US has repeatedly clashed with Germany over the lack of unity and the divide between US and EU is more evident not just in rhetoric, but in divergent monetary policy.
5. The Syrian revolt is not coming to an end as many believed it would have; Egypt and Yemen remain under an atmosphere of revolution without a clear picture of what will emerge a year from now; Palestine has defied the US and gone ahead with the UN recognition thus forcing the US to bring Israel back at the negotiating table, such as it is; and Turkey remains determined to cooperate and defy the US, depending on the issue that Ankara deems best serves its interests.
Unless we have solid evidence about an Iranian government plot - never mind whether Mexican drug lords are involved - this story lacks credibility, and it does not matter how many establishment news organizations repeat it.