CNN broke a very alarming story about an Iranian plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident living here in southern California. According to police reports and classified U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, a Los Angeles suburb was the scene of the assassination plot. The plot involved the would-be killers hiding out in a low-budget motel with a plan that first involved shooting the victim, but later changed to running him over with a van.
The plan went bad in 2009, when the would-be hit man hired by an Iranian national named Reza Sadeghnia got cold feet and called police. "This person went on to tell us that for the past four days, they together had been scheming how to assassinate, how to kill another Glendora resident," Staab said.
Police said the target was Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-American dissident who is the radio voice of a group called Tondar, devoted to the overthrow of the Iranian government. The Iranian government calls Tondar a terrorist group, but the U.S. State Department says it is only a propaganda outlet.
According to police reports, the informant offered proof: the purchase of a cheap van from a used-car dealer that would be used to run down and kill the target. He told detectives he had been paid $5,000 to kill Sharmahd, with another $27,000 delivered to his mother back in Iran. The plotters decided to use a van after deciding that buying a gun would be too risky.
The informant told police that Sadeghnia, the mastermind, had fled Glendora and was about to leave Los Angeles on a plane. Staab said Glendora detectives found him in an airport hotel under his own name and arrested him. Along with his laptop computer, police seized $2,100 in cash. "They were crisp $100 bills. There was a stack of them. And around it was a bank wrapping, and they were all written in Farsi," he said.
Sharmahd said there was "no doubt" that the plot against him involved the Iranian government. He said the motive was not only to kill him, but also to replace both Tondar's website and its radio broadcasts with fakes in an attempt to hijack the movement.
Sadeghnia ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of solicitation of murder and was jailed for eight months. After he was released from prison in 2010, Sadeghnia applied for permission to leave the United States while he was on five years' probation and visit Iran for one month "to visit his dying father," according to probation reports. His first application was denied, but a second request was granted a few weeks later on the condition that he return no later than October 27. He has not been seen in the United States since. Probation officials would not comment on the decision.
Why this story did not, and has not, gained wide public attention is shocking. It is widely known that the Iranian regime has carried out literally hundreds of assassinations of dissidents in Europe since coming to power in 1979 this attempt, carried out here in the United Sates in 2009 is outrageous and should have been widely reported! That combined with the very light sentence (serving only 8 months and allowed probation) and he fact that while on probation he was allowed to return to Iran of all places should make all of us just plain angry!
Gadhafi's rants make for good television, but pay attention to what happens in Bahrain.
Bahrain lies in the middle of an age-old conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia... and the balance between the two rivals could soon be tipped in a bad direction…
Iraq, when it was a strong influence in the area, was a nice buffer between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Unfortunately, a strong Iraq is no longer exists. Now there's unrest in Bahrain, whose Shiite majority lives under Sunni rule. If the protests in Bahrain lead to concessions for the Shia, it could energize Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority. And in the Middle Eastern balance of power, a weaker Saudi Arabia means a potentially stronger Iran.
Why does this matter? 40% of the world's seaborne oil passes through the very narrow Strait of Hormuz every day. Iran is on one side; what if it were on both... Imagine the disruption to the world economy if Iran mined the strait.
Live Long and Prosper....