Robert Baer, a former CIA agent with long experience of observing the QF, said: "This stinks to holy hell. The Quds Force are very good. They don't sit down with people they don't know and make a plot. They use proxies and they are professional about it. If Kassim Suleimani was coming after you or me, we would be dead. This is totally uncharacteristic of them."
Another possibility is that this is a rogue operation, perhaps organised by a faction inside the QF, without the Supreme Leader's blessing. There is an argument that it suited the purposes of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently lost a bloodless power struggle with Khamenei.
If the attack succeeded, it would set in train events dramatic enough to turn the rigid, dusty hierarchy of the clerical republic on its head, giving Ahmadinejad the chance to seize the advantage.
Or the plotters could be fanatics inside the military establishment, bent on bringing the Revolutionary Guard to the top of the regime pyramid, beginning an open race to develop a nuclear weapon and confronting Israel directly.
"If this is a bunch of crazies, then anything is possible," Baer said.>>>
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