Why Iran Wants to Attack the United States

(Foreign Policy) Matthew Levitt - An Iranian-American used car salesman pleaded guilty this month to conspiring with Iranian agents to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the plot "shows that some Iranian officials - probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei - have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime." Iran's Quds Force partnered with Hizbullah and provided extensive logistical support for a large-scale bombing in Turkey in fall 2009. Turkish authorities disrupted a plot in which Hizbullah and Iranian agents intended to attack Israeli and possibly American and local Jewish targets. Turkish police arrested Hizbullah operatives who reportedly smuggled a car bomb into the country from Syria while Quds Force agents left the country posing as tourists. According to Israeli intelligence, the foiled attack led to a blame game between Hizbullah and the Quds Force over the failed operations. Under Iran's instructions, Hizbullah's international terrorist wing, the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), underwent a massive operational reorganization. As part of the shakeup, Iranian officials laid out Hizbullah's role in Iran's larger plan for a coordinated shadow war targeting Israeli, American, British, and Arab Gulf state interests. It assigned the task of targeting Israeli tourists to Hizbullah, and gave the Quds Force responsibility for operations targeting Israeli, American, British, or Gulf states' interests. In the operational blitz that followed, Hizbullah operations included plots in Bulgaria, Thailand, South Africa, and Cyprus. Meanwhile, Quds Force operatives were at work in India, Georgia, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Kenya, and the U.S.

2012-10-30 00:00:00

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