Hello, As many of you may know, an alleged plot has been foiled that was to take place on U.S soil: The Iranian Quds force is accused of targeting the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. The details of the plot were such that members of a Mexican drug cartel were to be paid to attack embassies in Washington. The fallout from this has been quick: Saudi Arabia has been incensed, as has the United States, and certain people in the government have called this an act of war. Opinions are welcomed and I give my own below: My gut feeling on this is skepticism. CIA operative Bob Baer notes a certain level of disbelief when he notes that the Quds force is usually quite thorough and this operation appears to have been rather sloppy compared to acts they have taken in the past. I would not use the capacity of the Quds force myself as evidence of the unliklihood of the plot -- to say how good they were in the past as compared to now is something intelligence personnel would have to speak to. It may be that the Quds force has always had the comfort of operating within a certain sphere of influence and that they were out of their element working in the US and Mexico. However, of more note to me is how pointless the operation's aim apparently was, and this draws a lot of my attention. Killing the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States doesn't seem like it would gain Iran anything: policy would not be changed and it would seem rather tenuous to hang this on many other actors: why, for instance, would Al Qaida resort to using Mexican drug cartels rather than using their own men? And even if Al Qaida or another terror group were blamed, this would only intensify American attention in the region of Iran if not Iran itself. Getting angry with Pakistan over another Islamic terror group, for instance, does not give anything to Tehran. In point of fact, this seems to work exactly counter to Iranian interests. What is in Iranian interests now is to do very little actively on the world stage. It has gained control in Iraq, and its nuclear ambitions are not enough in and of themselves for nations to be willing to stop. Such an action carries the possibility of many nations turning against it, and seems unwise on many, many levels. In short, what makes me most skeptical about this plot is that it seems a plan of great risk that gains little or nothing at all. This is not to say that it is something cooked up by the CIA to prompt a manufactured crisis with Iran -- something like the Japanese blowing up their own bridge in Manchuria to blame on the Chinese -- although it's true that Iran has manufactured enough crises of its own in taking foreigner hostage within Iran or close to its borders. There may have been some CIA help, but the one who gains the most from this confrontation is Saudi Arabia.