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Iran accuses CIA & Israel, US warns Israel to back off

on 27 Comments
Mostafa Roshan,
picture released by Iranian Fars News Agency

The repercussions from the  assassination of Iranian nuclear expert Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan are rippling thru diplomatic circles even as thousands of Iranians mourn. With tensions high and the US denying any involvement in the slaying, the U.S. has– are you sitting down?– warned Israel against striking Iran over U.S. objections.


President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Stepping up the pressure, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.

US officials are claiming the “Israeli response has been noncommittal.” While Israeli officials say “Mr. Netanyahu’s government continues to closely coordinate with the U.S”. Coordinate? Are they trying to tie my country into another war?

So I’m curious: when the US warns Israel, are there ever any consequences for Israel implied or even mentioned? Any teeth in those warnings?

Meantime, warning communiques are flying back and forth between the US and Iran thru the Swiss embassy in Tehran (the only official diplomatic channel between the two countries). The WSJ reports that U.S. officials are warning Iran’s leaders, against “provocative actions” thru “direct messages.” Both the New York Times and AP report that the American warnings are that Iran must not take any actions threatening the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. The Times says one fifth of the world’s daily supply goes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran’s got some accusing messaging of its own. It blames the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan on the CIA, Israel and the UK’s MI6:

The Islamic Republic has blamed the violent death of Roshan on the CIA, Israel and now MI6.

[snip] Iran sent a letter to the Swiss embassy in Tehran….. saying that CIA-led operations in the Islamic Republic are known, and blaming the US for supporting “terrorist groups against Iran.”

Tehran also sent a letter to the British Foreign Ministry, claiming British intelligence operations aided in the killing of the 32-year-old Roshan in a car bomb.

The letter cited a quote by Foreign Intelligence Service Head (MI6) John Sawers, who said that the UK was beginning intelligence operations against Iran, according to IRNA.

Reuters quotes directly from Iranian state TV:

“We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported.

“The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents,” it added.

One other thing. And this might be the most important element of all in this drama. The WSJ article parrots many other news organizations that over the day or so have framed an upcoming visit to Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect nuclear sites as something that developed lately: Iran has “agreed to host a delegation.” As if this visit is something new or a result of stepped-up pressure towards Tehran.

But as previously reported– Iran issued the  invitation to nuclear inspectors on December 14th, one month ago today.

That’s not all that was in process. Iran’s Press TV:

“The latest terrorist attack comes as Iran has reached an agreement with the P5+1– Britain, China, France, Russian, and the United States plus Germany– to hold negotiations in Turkey.”

In other words, the assassination occurred right after Iran had already scheduled both IAEA inspections and negotiations with P5+1. Or as Alex Kane wrote yesterday, here’s the headline you aren’t seeing in the mainstream press: Iran wants talks.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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27 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail on January 14, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Two things strike me about this:

    1) Israel never, ever suffers any consequence for its illegal, reprehensible actions. It used to look over its shoulder and check potential US responses, but now it is so cockily confident that Congress is utterly in its pocket, that they think they can do anything without fear of any reprisal at all. US appeasement of Israel is having disastrous consequences for people all over the Middle East, and is heading towards more war, death and destruction – none of which will affect the bubble Israel lives in, maintained by the US protection racket. The US is paying the price of running scared of the Israel lobby’s mafia-like tactics and intimidation, and has done so for decades.

    2) It is very likely that Iran’s conviction of US responsibility in the terrorism it has suffered, is fomented and planted by Israel. There is little doubt that Israel’s goal is to drag the US into a war of its own making. The parallels with the USS Liberty incident are there – Israel has no compunction whatsoever in faking evidence, mounting false flag attacks and using terrorism to incite war. At the same time it uses AIPAC to block off any diplomatic solutions to the tensions it is busily stoking. Espionage, treachery, betrayal – Israel is beyond the pale of any of the so-called rogue states.

    • lysias
      lysias on January 14, 2012, 2:58 pm

      If the U.S. government truly is innocent, it should call for an international investigation. It could issue that call in a Security Council meeting.

      • annie
        annie on January 14, 2012, 3:03 pm

        i doubt that would ever happen lysias. while i think the US could be innocent in this one assassination any investigation would drag in lots of other evidence we have been active in efforts to destabilize iran for a long time. it would not be pretty.

      • American
        American on January 14, 2012, 5:22 pm

        I have about come to the conclusion that the CIA doesn’t do the assassinations they are accused of/credited with…..because if they did
        chances are there would be some assassinated Israels among the bodies..and there aren’t.

    • annie
      annie on January 14, 2012, 2:59 pm

      There is little doubt that Israel’s goal is to drag the US into a war of its own making.

      right, little doubt.

      jwp, another interesting aspect of this leak from the swiss embassy in tehran (if it is a leak) is i think the jerusalem post first broke it (and i could be wrong) . i woke very early today and that was where i read it first, seemed explosive so i looked around. within an hr it was all over AP and everywhere else and it really drowned out the more unusual WSJ story.

      i always notice timing. it could mean nothing but let’s see if the story the US is telling israel to back off gets any legs whatsoever after a story as explosive as iran accusing the US of plotting the assassination.

      and lest we forget in 12 days time we should have an update on palestine moving ahead at the UN. israel won’t like that at all. a war with iran would really drown that out.

      • richb
        richb on January 14, 2012, 5:36 pm

        Note who is releasing these stories because this may help us to resolve the empire vs lobby debate. Up to this point the moneyed interests and the lobby were in concert. Now with the attack on Bain Capital and this they are not. With the case of the former see how fast the establishment knocked down Newt and Adelson for daring to attack “capitalism” angering the Republican part of the establishment. Now with Bibi’s overt attempt to take down Obama there is the equivalent attack on the Democratic establishment and they’re pushing back, too. The clue is the fact that the story showed up in the WSJ with the resulting panic in the Jerusalem Post. If I’m right then Israel goes down. If not then the lobby hypothesis is correct.

      • annie
        annie on January 14, 2012, 7:28 pm

        interesting about bain capital. that’s a story i have not been following. just googled it. not pretty.

      • annie
        annie on January 14, 2012, 9:49 pm

        richb, jpost is doubling down and stepping up rhetoric. they just published a new report republishing the news about the US deployment of 1000’s of troops, something the US media has yet to report, for good reason i assume. so why would jpost be reporting it again today, now, along with the news of the WSJ report?

        US looking for assurances Israel not planning Iran strike

        Jerusalem Post‎ – 36 minutes ago
        By YAAKOV KATZ AND TOVAH LAZAROFF Plans for joint missile defense drill move forward; allies disagree about ‘red line’ for attack; Dempsey to visit Israel …

        well, it just so happens google news is reporting the WSJ article is still in the Highly Cited spot on news for israel:

        Highly Cited: US Warns Israel on Strike‎ Wall Street Journal”

        so they are reporting it there merged with this story. hmmm war rhetoric, steppin it up. they were more specific about the date. may, i wonder if israel would dare launch and attack while we were there practicing with our simulations of US missile defense systems?

      • richb
        richb on January 14, 2012, 11:09 pm

        The water cooler conversations I had yesterday showed no one was interested in conflict with Iran. It’s truly not a left vs right thing. Note W’s reaction in the FP piece. We want the boat not rocked. Meanwhile Israel is rocking the boat. A harsh reaction against Israel then has little negative cost.The depth of Bibi’s miscalculation is breathtaking. Even if we were in bed with the Mossad Israel broke the “rules” of plausible deniability. They are on the verge of their “burn notice”.

      • proudzionist777
        proudzionist777 on January 14, 2012, 9:53 pm

        A lot of doubt.

        Israel didn’t drag the United States into Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan.
        Arab Oil will decide whether or not the United States goes to war, and don’t count on that happening. This President is no war lover.

      • richb
        richb on January 15, 2012, 10:22 am

        When the Hasbarists show up like this it shows that you or in this case I am on to something. What we are concerned with is the price of oil. The Obama administration contra the entire Senate understands the bellicose route will cause a spike in the price of oil and tank the economy. They also understand given CIA behavior in the 1950s we need to be circumspect in our support of the Iranian opposition. Everyone here will undoubtably recall how Obama was savaged by McCain and others for his tepid support of the Greens in the 2009 presidential elections in Iran. Note this was supporting the peaceful opposition and not the terrorists. Obama understood supporting the terrorists would cause Iranian nationalism and the extremists in Iran would win.

        Now we know why Israel moved from supporting bipartisan Zionism to Republican Zionism because the latter was the only one who was saying bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. The American people now understand Israel leading us into war with Iraq contributed to the destruction of our economy. This was covert and indirect through Jewish neocons. Now the warmongering by Israel is direct and overt. Since our President isn’t as receptive to this message as W was they are interfering with our democracy through the Citizen’s United decision. Our founders were concerned about foreign influence with our democracy and was the reason why we have the natural born citizen clause in our constitution as a requirement for the president.

    • Hostage
      Hostage on January 14, 2012, 8:16 pm

      Israel never, ever suffers any consequence for its illegal, reprehensible actions. It used to look over its shoulder and check potential US responses

      Nope, by now everyone has just gotten used to the fact that Netanyahu is a dumbass who authorizes the Mossad to conduct assassinations in other countries and that they will frequently backfire, e.g.

      • Inanna
        Inanna on January 14, 2012, 9:42 pm

        LOL. Thanks for reminding us of the bungled Khalid Meshal assassination in 1997. Netanyahu certainly lost that round.

  2. lysias
    lysias on January 14, 2012, 2:57 pm

    The assassination also happened right after the U.S. Navy rescued those Iranian sailors from the pirates.

  3. lobewyper
    lobewyper on January 14, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Israel has historically talked/acted very tough–so long as they could count on US support (even military) if needed. The US now appears clearly to have drawn a line in the sand with the Israelis re: Iran. If so, the present behavior of the Israeli government is most consistent with bluffing. Thankfully, our leaders appear to have come to their senses. I think that there now is absolutely ZERO possibility that Israel will attack Iran against our wishes. (The US isn’t going to attack Iran, either.) Being intelligent people, the Iranians also know this.

    • iamuglow
      iamuglow on January 14, 2012, 6:23 pm

      “there now is absolutely ZERO possibility that Israel will attack Iran …The US isn’t going to attack Iran, either”

      It will be interesting to see happens on the other fronts that seemed to be escalating….the rhetoric from the presidential candidates/sanctions from the govt/menacing iran talk in the media/espinoage and assasinations…will that going to be die off now that the US has drawn a line in the sand?

  4. gazacalling
    gazacalling on January 14, 2012, 4:12 pm

    Annie, what important work you’re doing here.

    You’re the anti-Judith Miller of the internet.

  5. Kathleen
    Kathleen on January 14, 2012, 5:03 pm

    The exchange/debate between Flynt Leverett, Dennis Ross, Barbara Slavin , Trita Parsi over at Race for Iran is well worth the listen. Lots there about lack of real communication, diplomacy between Iran and the US. And not because of the lack of effort on Irans part

  6. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich on January 14, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Just pull the ‘effing’ plug already!

  7. American
    American on January 14, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Another part of that story:

    “The U.S. military is preparing for a number of possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to U.S. officials.

    The U.S. believes its embassy and other diplomatic outposts in Iraq are more vulnerable following the withdrawal of U.S. forces last month. Up to 15,000 U.S. diplomats, federal employees and contractors are expected to remain in Iraq.

    In large measure to deter Iran, the U.S. has 15,000 troops in Kuwait, and has moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf area.

    It has also been pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment, officials say. Arms transfers to key allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have been fast-tracked as a further deterrent, officials say.”

    We been talking mainly about the beefed up US presence as a sign the US was going to attack Iran. Well maybe that isn’t so….or only partly so in that it is for back for Israel. Which is wrong,wrong,wrong…unless we have also told Israel none of our militray will be covering their ass, only our own.

    I am with Zigge, JBlankfort, Lang and others…..just shoot the Israeli planes out of the air if they get near Iran. To hell with this batshit little country and catering to them and moving around the f******* US navy and US troops because we don’t know what a bunch of drunk on hubris pissants might do.

  8. yourstruly
    yourstruly on January 14, 2012, 7:06 pm

    hey, president obama, here’s a speech you can deliver that’ll not only cool down this confrontation with iran, it’ll guarantee you a landslide victory next november –

    sister and brother americans,

    for the good and welfare of our blessed nation, it’s time for us to change direction vis-a-vis the mideast conflict. until now we’ve given israel our unconditional support, but recent events indicate that israel has become a rogue nation in that it has disregarded communications from my office to stop assassinating iranian nuclear scientists. since such assassinations are acts of terrorism, i have given the order to suspend payments on the annual 3 billion bucks that israel receives from us. additionally the israeli government has been notified that any airplanes it sends to bomb iran will be intercepted by u.s planes and shot down if they don’t return to their home bases. the purpose of our new policy, long overdue i might add, is to secure peace, peace and nothing but peace. yes, an uproar from israel’s supporters is to expected, but i’m confident that the american people will not look kindly on those who put the interests of a tiny me nation before that of the u.s. of a. thank you.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger on January 14, 2012, 10:41 pm

      I could see Ron Paul giving that speech – but not Obama – not in a million years.

  9. kma
    kma on January 14, 2012, 10:48 pm

    Annie & all, you guys don’t really think that the US is opposed to attacking Iran just because they tell Israel to wait for sanctions to work, do you?
    the US may simply not want Israel to fire the first shot in public, but the US still wants to hurt Iran so bad and then get ’em for threatening to block Hormuz or something.
    or do you think sanctions “will work”? Iran has done nothing wrong, so there is no end point to sanctions except US justification for war – we’ve seen it before. the US is gunning for war, and you think we’re not?
    tell me what you think is going to happen.

  10. dbroncos
    dbroncos on January 14, 2012, 11:46 pm

    Bush and Obama both knew about Israel’s false flag terrorist attacks. They did nothing about it and have thereby highlighted America’s well established role of “State sponsor of terrorism”. Questions about CIA involvement are irrelavent. After the policy makers decide that Israel’s actions will go unpunished Israel’s Mossad becomes the CIA by another name. Iran knows that Mossad and the CIA have the same paymaster: Uncle Sam.

  11. Taxi
    Taxi on January 15, 2012, 12:00 am

    The Apartheid israelis ain’t going it alone. They’ve NEVER EVER fought a war alone. And never will they ever.

    They’ve lost the deterrence factor in 2006 and their enemies have big guns too.

    They’re cowards, them israelis. Full stop.

    Oh yeah and America’s majority ain’t interested in another mid east war neither. Full stop. THAT’S WHY Apartheid israel is putting on the noisy ape show.

    Hahahaha I gotta laugh at their pathetic hubris.

    Apartheid israel’s going nowhere but down-down-down.

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