Earlier this week we wrote of how David Ignatius, the star columnist of The Washington Post, was being used by US and Saudi officials to spin the story of the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington.
Indeed, Ignatius was doing much more: he put out the claim that Tehran was behind the slaying of a Saudi official in Pakistan (on 16 May in one paragraph of Ignatius' story, in July in another paragraph). Iran was involved in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and threats against Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Beirut. And Gholam Shakuri, the Qods Force officer indicted in The Plot, "had helped organize militant Shiite protesters in Bahrain":
According to the Saudi official, Shakuri was among the Iranians who met Hasan Mushaima, a radical Bahraini Shiite cleric, during a stopover in Beirut last February, when Mushaima was on his way back home to lead protests in Bahrain.
While all this smelled of US and Saudi propaganda rather than Ignatius' investigative findings, there was no way to test his claims, given that he did not name his sources.
That is, until the Bahraini regime exposed the process in a press release today:
Bahrain national intelligence agency has been totally aware of the activities of Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian Al-Quds Force operative who was accused by the US authorities of plotting to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir.
“This man is not new to us. Months before the indictment was issued, Bahraini and Saudi intelligence had identified him as an important “Iranian interlocutor” with several members masterminding the coup attempt in Bahrain", Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa told Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius.
He wondered about the action which would be taken by the US against Iran to show its seriousness after President Obama denounced the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington and warned that Iran “will pay a price”. “We’re asking the U.S. to stand up for its interests and draw the red lines,” Sheikh Khalid said, referring to Iran-sponsored attacks on American forces in Lebanon and Iraq and asked: “How many times have you lost lives, been subject to terrorist activities and yet we haven’t seen any proper response. This is really serious. It’s coming to your shores now.”
So the one named link we have for Ignatius' "evidence" on Gholam Shakuri --- beyond any US and Saudi officials --- is actually the Bahraini Foreign Minister, a man who might just have a political interest in tarring Iran with crimes and perfidy.
And since the Bahraini regime has no qualms about revealing this, will Ignatius now do the same, given his interest in revealing the full story beyond The Plot?