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December 17, 2005

Iran: Then Again, There's Always Plan B

Confirmation? See Update below.

Michael Ledeen posts on NRO's Corner:

I've just received a call from a usually reliable person saying that there was an assassination attempt in Iran against President Ahmadi Nezhad, who was in a car. His driver and guards were killed, and he is in the hospital, apparently likely to survive.

This is unconfirmed, remember. It's just a phone call from a "usually reliable person."

But maybe the sanity-clock just moved ahead an hour or so.

For a long time our Iran policy has been simply hoping that the discontented, and growingly secular and Western-friendly, majority of Iran would rise up or otherwise check the power of the mullahs. That seemed much less likely with the fraudulent elections there last go 'round (many moderate candidates were simply struck from the ballot), and the elevation of a terrorist hostage-taker to President.

But perhaps there is some sanity there yet. Maybe even enough to thwart the weapons-grade crazy running the country.

Thanks to rls.

Confirmation? From Iran Focus, an outfit I've never heard of so I cannot vouch it:

One of the bodyguards of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was killed and another wounded when an attempt to ambush the presidential motorcade was thwarted in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, according to a semi-official newspaper and local residents.

“At 6:50 pm on Thursday, the lead car in the presidential motorcade confronted armed bandits and trouble-makers on the Zabol-Saravan highway”, the semi-official Jomhouri Islami reported on Saturday.

“In the ensuing armed clash, the driver of the vehicle, who was an indigenous member of the security services, and one of the president’s bodyguards died, while another bodyguard was wounded”, the newspaper, which was founded by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wrote.

Ahmadinejad traveled to the restive province, where ethnic Baluchis have been fighting for years for autonomy, on Wednesday and returned to Tehran on Friday afternoon. Tehran often refers to anti-government activists and political opponents of the Islamist regime as “bandits” and “trouble-makers”.

The newspaper report made no mention of Ahmadinejad’s whereabouts during the attack on his bodyguards’ vehicle, but Zabol residents reached by telephone said there were rumors in the town that the hard-line president himself was the target of the attack, which took place near Zabol.

“Many people have been rounded up for questioning after the attack and the authorities here were clearly shaken by the incident”, a Zabol resident told Iran Focus.

The Sunni Baluchis have faced years of religious and racial discrimination under Iran’s Shiite clergy-dominated government.

H/t My Pet Jawa, thanks for the tip to Allah.


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