Would Iran Really Want to Blow Up the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.?
The Atlantic / Max Fisher

It's entirely possible that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement today is exactly what it looks like: the U.S. discovery and foiling of a plot by Iranian government agents to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a bomb attack, possibly in Washington, DC. Iran has a record sponsoring terrorism, and Iran-Saudi competition can sometimes look like a Cold War of the Middle East. But, for all the plausibility that Iran might be willing to blow up a Saudi ambassador, it's not at all apparent what they would gain from it. Iran has never been shy about sponsoring terrorism, but only when it was within their interests, or at least their perceived interests. It's hard to see how they could have possibly decided on a plot like the one that Holder claimed today.

What would it really mean for Iran if the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. were killed in a terrorist attack in Washington? The U.S.-Saudi relationship has been bad and getting worse since the start of the Arab Spring, with the Saudi monarchy working increasingly against the democratic movements that the U.S. supports. A senior member of the royal family even threatened to cut off the close U.S.-Saudi relationship if Obama opposed the Palestinian statehood bid, which he did. If the U.S. and Saudi Arabia really broke off their seven-decade, oil-soaked romance, it would be terrific news for Iran. Saudi Arabia depends on the U.S. selling it arms, helping it with intelligence, and overlooking its domesti... >>>

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