The Associated Press reported last week that American intelligence outlets had intercepted messages in January leading to an Iranian attack against a military base in Washington, DC. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly considered sending operatives to Fort McNair to assassinate US Army Vice Chief of Staff Joseph M. Martin.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported the attack will have been at least the second attempt at retaliation for the assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
In his absence, Tehran has failed to project influence efficiently, and the latest attacks can clearly be read as an attempt to make a point. Those attacks, like most of the regime’s militant propaganda, are exaggerated. That isn’t to suggest that governments and intelligence agencies in the West should dismiss them.
IRGC Brigadier General Ismail Qaani, Soleimani’s successor, seems to have taken the lead in attempting to cover for the weakness with language that implies no American official is exempt from Tehran’s vengeance.
“We warn the U.S. President, the head of the CIA, the Secretary of Defence, the U.S. Secretary of State, and other U.S. officials involved in the assassination of Martyr Soleimani that they must learn the secret lifestyle of Salman Rushdie.
The Islamic Republic will revenge Martyr Soleimani blood that was unjustly shed,” referencing the British author who was the focus of terror attacks for years after being condemned in a fatwa by the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini.
According to recent reports, multiple European law enforcement agencies collaborated in the summer of 2018, about a year and a half before Soleimani’s death, to foil a terror plot in which explosives were smuggled into Austria by an Iranian diplomat, transferred to his Iranian-Belgian terrorist subordinates in Luxembourg, and then seized by Belgian police en route to a target venue in France.
Assadollah Assadi, the diplomat at the center of the plot, and three co-conspirators were tried in Belgium last November. In February, all four were found guilty, and Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for plotting terrorists.
Throughout the court case, prosecutors made it clear that the terrorists’ actions were not self-motivated but rather were ordered by high-ranking Iranian officials in response to growing threats of organized resistance to the theocratic system.
The Iranian regime attempted to use a truck bomb at an Albanian compound maintained by the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), about three months before the rally organized by the NCRI in France.
Iran’s judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, threatened retaliation against anyone who holds or has held the title of President of the United States the very next day. “None of them will be safe on Earth,” he declared.
Even if Iran never succeeds in outsourcing this terrorism to the West, the widespread human rights violations in Iran demand far more attention from the international community.