<i>Foreign Policy:</i> Mossad agents posed as CIA to recruit Jundallah terrorists to assassinate Iranian officials

Your editor sends a hat tip to his electronic friend Cheryl, a fellow graduate of the University of Kentucky, for this article:

Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA spies to recruit terrorists to fight against Iran

Foreign Policy magazine cites CIA memos from 2007-2008 that the Mossad recruited members of Jundallah terror group to fight against Tehran; U.S. was reportedly furious with Israel and moved to limit joint intelligence programs.

Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA officers in order to recruit members of a Pakistani terror group to carry out assassinations and attacks against the regime in Iran, Foreign Policy revealed on Friday, quoting U.S. intelligence memos.

Foreign Policy's Mark Perry reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, behind the back of the U.S. government, and infuriated then U.S. President George W. Bush.

Perry quotes a number of American intelligence officials and claims that the Mossad agents used American dollars and U.S. passports to pose as CIA spies to try to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization that has carried out a series of attacks in Iran and assassinations of government officials.

Much more at the link. The Foreign Policy original is here. Israeli officials responded to the story, calling it “absolute nonsense.”

Assuming that the Foreign Policy story is true, I would point out that the Israelis are always looking out for themselves first, and if they believe that something is in their national interest, they will not subjugate that belief to what our beliefs are, and President Bush was naïve if he ever thought otherwise. The concept of Zionism, as founded by Theodor Herzl, was that the experience of the Jewish diaspora in Europe proved that Jews could not rely on the the tolerance and good will of others for their own security. For the Israelis, subsequent events in Europe, culminating in the Holocaust, proved just how right Mr Herzl was.

However, in this instance, it was the Israelis who were right: it is in the national interest of both Israel and the United States stop the Iranian government's nuclear programs and support for Islamist terrorism. If the Israelis really did that, while we were taking the “high road,” and saying “we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians,” then it was the Israelis who were cold-heartedly realistic, while we were not.

And we're seeing the same thing under President Obama; the Administration has made several emphatic statements that the United States was in no way involved in the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.1 Your editor believes the Administration's denials on this, because he believes the United States government is too wimpy to do what needs to be done. We will stand around and wring our hands, and maybe even discuss military strikes (against hardened installations) to stop the Iranian nuclear program, military strikes which would kill hundreds if not thousands of Iranians on the ground, while the Israelis — assuming it was them — have killed five, yes a whopping five,2 Iranian nuclear scientists, and thus have been actually doing something about the problem.

Now, did Mossad actually undertake this mission, or are Israel's denials true? In the real world, Iran will not accept the US's assertions that we had nothing to do with the assassinations, because it is not in the Iranian leadership's political advantage to do so, and they are simply not politically conditioned to believe that the “Great Satan” could ever be innocent of anything. Nor will Iran believe Mossad's denials; they wouldn't trust Mossad's word for anything. It is possible that someone else is responsible for these killings, including the Iranian government itself, as a way of getting rid of political enemies while putting the blame on the West, but most informed people reading about these killings are going to assume that it was the Israelis.


  1. The assassination drew an unusually strong condemnation from the White House and the State Department, which disavowed any American complicity. The statements by the United States appeared to reflect serious concern about the growing number of lethal attacks, which some experts believe could backfire by undercutting future negotiations and prompting Iran to redouble what the West suspects is a quest for a nuclear capacity.

    “The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to expand the denial beyond Wednesday’s killing, “categorically” denying “any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran.”

    “We believe that there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbors and the international community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative behavior, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community,” Mrs. Clinton said.

  2. A sixth scientist has been wounded, but recovered.

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