U.S. authorities foiled an elaborate assassination plot aimed at the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir. While there is much speculation about why he was targeted, there is little hard evidence for a motive.
One of the suspects is from Austin, Texas, and is a naturalized citizen; the other is a member of the Iranian Quds force, a paramilitary division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps., who is still at large.
Whatever their motive, this was a brazen violation of U.S. and international law by a plan conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran.
In my opinion, this was a test of American intelligence mettle and a message that Iran is capable of penetrating U.S. territory with a “high asset” murder in mind. Had they pulled this off, it would have been extremely embarrassing to the U.S. government.
There is no doubt that Iran has been and will continue to be a sponsor of global terrorism. Whether this incident will lead to action against Iran is doubtful, since there was substantial evidence Iran was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole among other forays and the U.S. did not respond in any meaningful way.
Could this incident presage a split between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a split exacerbated by Iranian support for the Shia in the eastern area of Saudi Arabia? Or is this an attempt to create a schism between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? Presumably the murder of a Saudi ambassador would be blamed on the negligence of U.S. law enforcement officials.
Whatever the Iranian government was thinking should be cause for U.S. reassessment of its Iranian policy. Obviously, coddling and appeasement do not work. Is there any other position the Obama team will entertain? If not, Iran may continually become even more brazen in its attacks, targeting American citizens for terrorism rather than foreign envoys for assassination.