Iran casts assassination plot as US attempt to distract from 'Occupy Wall Street'
A day after the US publicly accused Iran of an assassination plot, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei countered with a different narrative.
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US court documents unsealed on Tuesday allege that Iranian agents from the Qods Force, a specialist branch of the Revolutionary Guard, sought to hire hit men from a Mexican drug cartel. But Iran is quickly countering with its own narrative that Washington is desperate to distract attention from severe economic problems, and what Iran calls the spreading "awakening" of American citizens manifested in the Occupy Wall Street protests.
"No doubt this is a new American-Zionist plot to divert the public opinion from the crisis Obama is grappling with," the chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy committee in parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said on Wednesday.
"Americans are seeking to derail the public opinion from the Wall Street uprising," said Mr. Boroujerdi, according to Fars News Agency, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guard. Iran "has never pursued or adopted the policy of assassination, and it rather is a victim of terrorism. Therefore, the US officials' allegation is nothing but a big lie."
Khamenei describes an America in decline
Many questions remain about the true facts behind the case, how serious and dangerous it really was, and how much Iranian government involvement may have been a factor – if at all – despite US Justice Department claims that the plot was "conceived, sponsored and was directed from Iran."
Iranian agents killed scores of regime opponents in the 1980s and 1990s, mostly in Europe and Iraq, in a practice that was largely stopped by the time reformist President Mohammad Khatami was elected in 1997.
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In an official complaint sent to United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon late Tuesday, Iran rejected the new allegations, blaming them on "the current US warmongering and propaganda machine against Iran," which yielded an "evil plot" to "divert attention" from American problems at home.