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Secretary Clinton: Assassination Plot ‘Conceived and Directed from Tehran’

12:02 PM, Oct 13, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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Here is what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say during an interview with NBC’s Today Show about the Iranian plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S.

Clinton believes that the alleged plot by the Iranian government to kill a Saudi official, which she called a "dangerous escalation," came from the highest levels.  

We think that this was conceived and directed from Tehran,’’ Clinton said. “We know that it goes to a certain level within the Quds Force, which is part of the Revolutionary Guard, which is the military wing of the Iranian government. And we know that this was in the making, and there was a lot of communication between the defendants and others in Tehran.

“So we're going to let the evidence unfold. But the important point to make is that this just is in violation of international norms. It is a state-sponsored act of terror, and the world needs to speak out strongly against it.’’

Clinton would not speculate on whether the act was ordered by the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or what the motivation may have been behind the alleged plot.

Secretary Clinton has a habit of speaking “truth to power” when it comes to state sponsors of jihadist terrorism. First, she called out Pakistan for its duplicity in the hunt for al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking terrorists. Now, she has pointed the finger at Tehran for this latest plot.

Clinton deserves praise for her bluntness in this regard. There are many in the U.S. government and in the commentariat who spend most of their time pretending that our terrorist enemies do not have any state backing, despite mountains of evidence indicating they do. Still, "speak(ing) out strongly against it" will do little to nothing.

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

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