<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.

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  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.

4 Comments

  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.

    I have usually found that the more emphatic the denial, the involvement is bigger. RMN “I’m not a crook.”

  2. “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.”

    Well I’ll say this about you, Mr Editor the warhawk, you are consistent, consistently wrong, in my view.

    How much is it going to take for you to understand that the interventionalist approach worsens situations, except under certain rare circumstances? That is an historic lesson which you absolutely refuse to learn. Here we have Israel with an alleged 200-300 nuclear bomb arsenal, a hostile nuclear power in Iran’s vicinity, and you expect Iran not to be looking into nuclear technology?

    Iran is a sovereign nation, therefore should never be attacked unless we have exhausted all other options, which we have not. We could start by admitting that our past treatment of them has not been what it should have been, not that of a peaceful nation, instead upending their duly elected President, allying ourselves with Iraq/Saddam Hussien in the Iran-Iraq War, now employing severe sanctions. And we don’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran either. So far, what constructive steps have we taken toward Iran, I ask?

    Please explain to me how these decades of hostility against Iran is a winning strategy? Where we are today with them is proof of a failed strategy, on their part as well. These unresolved hostilities are the ingredients for war. Is this the solution we wish for?

    Now of course these difficulties are not all on us, they are on Israel, as in the recent death by assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists, the latest allegedly posing as our CIA, as you discussed.

    What is our end-game? Iran, if they wish, will eventually develop nuclear bomb capability, so will many other nations. The technology is no secret as in the past. We need to develop a strategy for dealing with these threats, a strategy which takes away their incentive to go nuclear, a strategy that promotes peaceful coexistence, otherwise we will be confronting these threats forever into the future.

    The United States and Israel, and Iran, with their current mindsets, are not now motivated to deescalate the tension, which is on all of them. Someone has to make a move toward a peaceful solution, otherwise we have the possibility of having a nuclear war initiated. The Judeo-Christian allies are not the only side with nuclear capability!

  3. Well, I guess this answers the question I posed to you on another thread:

    What is our end-game? Iran, if they wish, will eventually develop nuclear bomb capability, so will many other nations. The technology is no secret as in the past. We need to develop a strategy for dealing with these threats, a strategy which takes away their incentive to go nuclear, a strategy that promotes peaceful coexistence, otherwise we will be confronting these threats forever into the future.

    I asked you, here, “if non-military means to prevent Iran from building atomic weapons are clearly insufficient to prevent them from doing so, is allowing Iran to go ahead and build atomic bombs preferable to a military strike which would destroy their weapons facilities?”

    Apparently you do believe it would be preferable to allow Iran to develop atomic bombs than to stop them.

  4. Our greatest concern, right now, is that a rational government in Pakistan will fall, and a Taliban element will gain control, because Pakistan has perhaps a hundred atomic bombs. And now you would let yet another Islamist nation develop and build atomic weapons. Face facts, WW: if these things keep proliferating in these Islamist countries, sooner or later someone is going to use one of them. And when Jerusalem has become a radioactive black hole in the ground, or perhaps the Iranians manage to smuggle one into New York in a shipping container, will you still be telling us that we really had no right to stop the Iranians from building atomic bombs?

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