The image of a young man being surrounded by balaclava-clad security officers by the side of a small commercial plane was designed to send the strongest possible message to Western intelligence services, their political masters and the Western public in general. If the West led by the mighty United States has failed in its nearly nine-year pursuit of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, embattled Iran managed to get its man with minimal political and economic cost.
Aside from frustrating American subversion efforts in Iran’s southeast, the capture of the Jundallah leader sends an unmistakable message that in the intelligence wars of the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran has once again seized the initiative. The repercussions of this will be felt across all spheres and at all levels, boosting Iran’s diplomatic and political posture in the region, and thus making the country less vulnerable to American and Israeli bullying.
By any standard, Abdulmalik Rigi’s arrest is a major success for the Islamic Republic’s intelligence services. This dramatic operation has boosted the morale of Islamic Republic loyalists throughout the Middle East and caused considerable dismay and embarrassment to Iran’s Western enemies.