Julian Borger – SMH December 3, 2011
The final two paragraphs give the game away. We explain why in the footnote. Ed.
LONDON: The storming of the British embassy in Tehran this week has further revealed the role of a growing, radical actor in Iranian foreign policy: the country’s Quds Force.
The force is the external operations wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, one of the regime’s most powerful institutions, with extensive economic and financial interests across the country.
Some of the rioters at the embassy held aloft pictures of the Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Suleimani, around whom a personality cult is developing. There are claims that a known Quds commander was in the crowd.
A day after Britain expelled all Iranian diplomats in response, the European Union stiffened sanctions against Iran but stopped short of halting oil purchases.
The sanctions specifically target additional members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and businesses controlled by its members.
The US Senate also moved against Iran and on Thursday unanimously approved harsh new economic sanctions. Senators voted 100-0 to include the measure, which aims to cut off Iran’s central bank from the global financial system.
In his statement to Parliament, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said the damage to the embassy and the residential compound was done by 200 student Basij militia but diplomats say that, according to a recent restructuring by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, the Basij is a youth arm of the Revolutionary Guard.
An Israeli-Iranian analyst, Meir Javedanfar, said: ”Basij members don’t turn up in front of embassies, unless they have permission from the [Revolutionary Guard].”
Conspicuous in their dark, ascetic clothing, the Basij crushed the opposition street protests of 2009 by driving into crowds of demonstrators on motorcycles wielding batons and knives. Some diplomats believe that as the target on Tuesday was foreign, the Quds Force was ”in the driving seat”.
General Suleimani has made clear he has big ambitions. In 2008, he had a text message sent to General David Petraeus when the CIA director-to-be was running the war in Iraq, telling him that he, General Suleimani, was the man he should be dealing with on Iranian foreign policy.
The text read: ”General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan.
”And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.”
Turkish officials have confirmed Western allegations that the Quds Force is active in Syria, and is a powerful player in Iraq.
In October, the US accused General Suleimani and the Quds Force of being behind a plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador in Washington dining at his favourite restaurant.
If true, and many observers cannot believe that a commander as senior as General Suleimani could be so reckless, it would be a sign that the Quds Force is seeking to expand its operations to confront Iran’s two greatest enemies, the US and Britain, directly.
Comment – December 3, 2011
The above is all reasonably convincing, until you get to the last two paragraphs, at which point the distinction between fiction and fact become blurred. For readers may recall that the plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador in Washington, mentioned quite seriously above, which had all the hallmarks of an orchestrated plot to frame Iran mixed with pure farce.
For those who’ve forgotten, friends who knew the main suspect in the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador knew him as ‘lazy Jack’ – a used car salesman who they say ‘lacked cunning’.
Even the writer of the above piece described the plot at the time as “having the ring of a far-fetched Hollywood thriller.”
Yet little more than six weeks later and the same writer is suggesting it may indicate that: “Quds Force is seeking to expand its operations to confront Iran’s two greatest enemies, the US and Britain”.
Right. So the slap-stick comedy that was the plot to blow-up the Saudi ambassador to Washington has now morphed into evidence that the “ambitious” Major General Qassem Suleimani seeks to confront Britain and America.
It has long been rumoured that elements in the corporate media also do favours for Western intelligence.
By inserting deliberate disinformation into their reports or presenting situations and individuals in a particular light such journalists assist in the fulfilment in all manner of dark designs. In return for which they get tip-offs and inside information from Western intelligence.
Is Julian Borger one such?