Multiple news outlets in Iran are reporting that Iran has asked Interpol to prosecute former General Jack Keane (co-author of the Iraq surge) and former CIA operative Reuel Marc Gerecht on the basis of their open calls for the assassination of Iranian figures during a meeting of two House Homeland Security Subcommitttees on October 26.
From Mehr News:
In a letter to Interpol, Iranian National Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei has called for the prosecution of the U.S. officials, IRNA reported on Monday.
According to the online magazine Firstpost, at a session of the committee, Jack Keane, a retired four-star general who helped plan the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, called for the assassination of the leaders of Iran’s Qods Force in retaliation for their alleged role in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, a claim vehemently denied by Iranian officials.
“Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organizations against the United States,” he said.
The other witness, Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer who is now a senior fellow at the neoconservative think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the committee, “I don’t think that you are going to really intimidate these people, get their attention, unless you shoot somebody.”
The article then goes on to report that Congressmen Peter King, Michael McCaul and Patrick Meehan signed a November 22 letter stating “that the U.S. should undermine Iranian officials and damage the country’s infrastructure through increasing covert operations”.
Fars News Agency claims that Interpol stands ready to help in the effort:
Iran’s Deputy Police Chief Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Radan announced that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has promised to help Tehran prosecute the two former US officials who had called on the Obama administration to assassinate Iran’s top military commanders.
“The Interpol will take the steps for the prosecution of two Americans who sponsor terrorism,” Radan told FNA on Tuesday.
Fars also has more of Keane’s remarks:
Keane pointed to US allegations that the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) took part in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in Washington and pushed for assassinating “Quds Force top commanders”.
The retired general said Washington should carry out “cyber-attacks” against “selected military and economic interests inside of Iran,” seize its assets, look into “denying their ships entry to ports around the world,” work to isolate Tehran’s central bank, and support Iranian dissident movements.
The article ends with a strong denial of Iran’s involvement in the Scary Iran Plot and warns that these calls for retaliation amount to a call for war.
You can read more on Keane’s background here on SourceWatch. It’s probably enough to know about him that the Iraq “surge” was first discussed in an article he jointly authored with Fred Kagan. Gerecht also is an unabashed neocon, appearing prominently on the old Project for a New American Century website and now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and The Weekly Standard.
Just in case you might think that Iran invented these quotes from Keane and Gerecht, you can listen to audio of portions of their October 26 testimony in this report (warning, audio is autoplay; click on “transcript” button for the text) for Austrailian radio.
It will be very interesting to see if Interpol actually opens an investigation and publicly admits to having done so. Outright calls for the assassination of public figures are quickly labeled as terrorism when directed against the US, but are just as quickly labeled patriotism when directed outward from the US. I will keep an eye out for any further developments on this front.