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Iran's Brazen Plots

7:13 PM, Oct 11, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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During another call, Arbabsiar pretended that his Mexican executioner was demanding more money up front after already receiving $100,000 as a down payment for the operation. Shakuri said he had to ask his superiors what Arbabsiar should do, and worried that they might be throwing more money away if the hit didn’t occur. In all, the Iranians were willing to pay $1.5 million for the completed operation – but only when the deed was done.

Arbabsiar’s cousin and Shakuri weren’t the only IRGC officials allegedly involved. Arbabsiar told authorities that he “met together on a number of occasions in Tehran” with Shakuri and another “high-ranking member of the Qods Force” referred to as “Iranian Official #2” in the complaint. Arbabsiar identified a photo of this official by an alias that authorities say is a known alias for this IRGC official. (The FBI also does not believe that there are any publicly available photos of this official – making Arbabsiar’s identification both credible and damning.)

Shakuri told Arbabsiar that still another IRGC Qods Force official (identified as “Iranian Official #3”) was aware of Arbabsiar’s plotting and that he could meet with him in the future. Arbabsiar understood this official “to be the leader of the Qods Force.”

If the details reported in the complaint hold up to scrutiny, then senior IRGC officials have been implicated in Arbabsiar’s plotting. These include three anonymous high-ranking IRGC members: Arbabsiar’s cousin, “Iranian Official #2,” and “Iranian Official #3.” Those three officials are in addition to the IRGC’s Gholum Shakuri.

The details of this alleged plot are just coming to the public’s attention, so more time will be needed to digest them.

But Arbabsiar, according to the complaint, is certain about the identities of this plot’s masterminds. Arbabsiar admitted that he “was recruited, funded, and directed by men he understood to be senior officials in the Qods Force.”

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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