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Two woah! stories

Al Jazeera reports that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu of Israel has announced that after five years of being held captive, Israel has finally struck a deal with Hamas for a prisoner swap that will free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.  Shalit has become a sort of symbol in Israel, and while his release is of little tactical or strategic value, it is a huge political win for Netanyahu, in my opinion on the level of Obama announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden.  There is room to question if a swap of a captured IDF soldier for many Palestinian prisoners will only encourage future kidnappings, but for now that does not seem to be a concern.

Then there is this article from the New York Times, which reports that US Federal Authorities broke up a plot of two Iranians, with connections to Iran’s Quds Force, to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US and bomb the Saudi Embassy (I’ve been there!).  The men were supposedly attempting to hire Mexican drug cartels to carry out the operation.  The National Security Council has been on top of this plot since June.

Abdullah Alshamri, a Saudi official in Riyadh, predicted the disclosure would send Iranian-Saudi relations to “their lowest point yet.” Though no government steps had been taken, he suggested that a diplomatic row was inevitable.

“We’re expecting from our government a serious and tough reaction to give a message to the Iranians that enough is enough,” he said by telephone. “If we keep our diplomatic ties with the Iranians, they will think we are weak and they will keep trying to attack us.”

He said this was only the latest Iranian attempt to attack Saudi diplomats.

“This is their hobby,” he said. “Iran has no respect for international law.”

Edit: Professor Rob Prince, a friend of MEDG, blogged about Israel’s rough September.


One Response

  1. I can’t wait to see Ahmadinejad’s response to this story. Additionally, it would be interesting to know if he was even in the loop on this plot, given that some say he is on the outs with other top members of the Iranian government.
    Nontheless, with the one man who has been arrested in this plot giving a confession containing details of how the plan was to be carried out, it will be interesting to see how the Ahmadinejad and the Iranians will be able to spin this in order to blame the West.

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