This is a little awkward since the Biden administration was just pushing to remove the IRGC from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The Mossad – operating in Iran – apprehended and interrogated an Iranian national who was leading a plot to kill an Israeli diplomat and a US general, sources have confirmed.
An audio recording released on Saturday showed a photo of Mansour Rasouli admitting he had been ordered to establish a cell to assassinate a worker at the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul, a US general stationed in Germany and a journalist in France.
Rasouli was arrested and questioned in Iran, a rarity as the Mossad regularly operates in conjunction with foreign intelligence services to thwart attacks but almost always from outside the Islamic Republic.
The Israelis are doing two things here, they’re demonstrating the dangers of cultivating ties with Iran to the Biden administration, to the French government, and to Turkey’s Erdogan.
And they’re demonstrating the depth and range of their ability to operate in Iran.
Previous operations, including assassination attempts and the seizure of nuclear secrets, have been impressive, but this is really something else. The Israelis are advertising that they can penetrate Iran and get to IRGC figures in their own country.
There’s only two ways to read this.
1. This is a fake or has been misinterpreted.
2. The Iranians have lost control over parts of their country. That’s not unprecedented in the region. Syria and Iraq, Iran’s neighbors, have limited control over their own territories. The jury’s out on the Saudis. But the Islamic Revolution, despite its bluster and nuclear program, seem to have huge gaps on the ground.
The Quds Force, the IRGC branch responsible for overseas operations, planned to carry out the assassinations via drug cartels, with the Islamic Republic reportedly willing to pay over $1 million for the targets.
The planned hits were organized by a member of Quds Force’s Unit 840 stationed in Europe, who was paid $150,000 to “prepare for the assassinations” by using his connections to various European drug lords.
Unit 840 is a relatively secretive operational unit that organizes terrorist infrastructure outside Iran against Western targets and opposition groups, according to the IDF.
Considering that a sizable chunk of Europe’s drug dealers are Muslim immigrants and Iran supplies a good deal of Europe’s drugs, that’s not surprising.