Faster, Please!

The Doctors Plot Again, This Time in Tehran

“Does this remind you of anything?”  I was talking to my old friend, the late James Jesus Angleton, legendary head of CIA counterintelligence back in the days when there really WAS counterintelligence.  I’d reached him through the only possible way, a totally unreliable and very staticky connection through my antique ouija board, and I had just read him an excerpt from a story on Iran’s FARS news agency wire:

“Since long ago, a comprehensive plot has been under discussion for the arrangement of the regional scene. This plan was gradually brought on the international stage and turned into a paradigm,” (Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali) Larijani said at a ceremony for honoring Gaza martyrs in the holy city of Qom in central Iran on Wednesday.

“This plot aimed at a type of solidarity among the US and certain western and Arab countries in the region and had been hatched to harness Iran through international participation,” he added.

Larijani was talking about the Israeli assault on Gaza, which he claimed had ended in defeat for Israel and the United States.  Angleton thought for a bit, and it seemed to me that I sensed cigarette smoke coming out of the ouija board, although of course he’d already complained about the new anti-smoking regulations on the far side of the great divide, and it might have been my imagination.

JJA: “Well of course it’s the usual paranoia, isn’t it?  You could find similar things from most any dictator.  ‘Uneasy lies a head that wears the crown,’ and all that.”  They see plots everywhere, and the Iranians are worse than most.”

ML: “Yeah, Henry IV, Part 2, right?”

JJA: “Exactly.  And there’s another bit in that play that also tells you a lot about the tyrant’s mentality.  Remember?

O God!  That one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,–
Weary of solid firmness,–melt itself
into the sea!”

ML: “Great stuff.  But that rather sounds like the mullahs’ vision of their own imminent triumph, and the return of the 12th Imam.”

JJA: “Yes, that’s what they tell themselves.  At least in public.  But they have a lot of dread.  They’re not altogether certain that the child-Messiah is all that reliable.  Not one of them trusts any of the others, you know.”

ML: “I know, I know.  They see plots everywhere.  Just listen to another report from FARS, this one of January 9th, where they quote an unnamed person identified as “the director general of the counter-intelligence department of the Ministry of Intelligence.”  You might consider him a kindred spirit.

JJA: “Hah!  He’s got my job, the beturbaned bastard.”

ML: “Well, not exactly.  He’s not a CIA official, is he?”

JJA: “Not that I know of (chortle, with a bit of a wheeze).”

ML: “This guy’s telling his listeners about a really diabolical plot, run of course by the Satanic Americans, aimed at the overthrow of the regime.”

JJA: “You’re talking about the doctors’ plot, right?”

ML: “Yes.  Two brothers, usually credited with creating and managing the country’s AIDS program (which WHO rates one of the best in the world) were arrested last September.  They traveled a lot, especially to the United States, to stay on top of the latest developments.  Now this guy with your old job has accused them of being American spies.”

JJA: “Any evidence?”

ML: “Looks pretty flimsy.  As usual, the actual ‘evidence’ is not available.  They got tried in closed court, and not even their defense attorney has been able to see most of the government’s claims.”

JJA: “So what did the director general of the counter-intelligence department actually say about the reasons for their arrest and conviction?”

ML: “He said that they were working with the Americans to overthrow the regime.”

JJA: “Good grief.  How?  Were they going to give their patients sharp needles to throw against Khamenei?”

ML: “Don’t laugh.  They’re accused of working to accomplish the “soft toppling” of the regime, having been recruited by Americans during trips to the United States.  Here’s the description he gives of the process:

“During [their] trips the Americans tried to influence those people’s
thinking and to portray America as Iran’s only saviour so that after
returning to Iran they would put pressure on their officials and create a
rift between the people and the officials…

During that one-month period, they also asked the Iranians to provide an analysis of the situation inside Iran for them. In this way, they wished to collect information [intelligence] about Iran. they particularly asked them about certain issues, such as germs [not further described], non-active defence, [and] the condition of the infrastructure, and those individuals provided them with all the information that they had.”

JJA: “Seems innocent enough.  Anything about actual organizing activities inside Iran?  I mean, talking to American doctors about disease, and how things were going in Iran isn’t really much, even for paranoiacs like the mullahs.”

ML: “Yes, there are some specific charges:

…inciting social crises, organizing street demonstrations and
interfering in ethnic issues…For instance, in Azerbaijan Province,
they managed to trap a few individuals and to get their co-operation. By
raising the issue of ethnic prejudices [feelings], they were trying to
incite them and were encouraging them to engage in civil disobedience and
non-violent activities.”

JJA: “I see.  So the mullahs are blaming a handful of doctors for the ethnic riots in Azerbaijan.”

ML: “Exactly.  And there’s one other thing that might interest you.”

JJA: “What’s that?”

ML: “They compare it to an American plot against the Soviet Union years ago.”

JJA: “You’re kidding!”

ML: “Not at all.  Here’s the quote:

Pointing out that America wishes to carry out some plots against Iran
similar to the operations in Riga-Dubai, he said: “That plot
was carried out in the year 1359 [1980] by America against the Soviet Union
through Dubai. Now, once again, America has activated that plan in Dubai,
and she wishes to penetrate our social layers, the members of the elite and
experts and to establish contacts with them.”

JJA: “Aha!”

ML: “I thought you’d like it.”

JJA: “Like it?  It’s fascinating.  Have you asked yourself where they came up with that story?  Do you think the Iranians have a team studying Soviet history or something?”

ML: “So where did they get it?”

JJA: “One will get you three that they got it from the Russians, of course.”

ML: “Got any evidence?”

I probably shouldn’t have said that, because the ouija board started sparking as soon as the words came out.

JJA: “Oh please…they’re in cahoots across the board…nuclear…likely intelligence methods…operations…”

Well of course he’d think like that.  And yes, I’ll try to remember to follow it up.  Anyway, it does look a lot like the infamous doctors’ plot that Stalin used to justify one of his major purges.  There seems to be a similar purge under way now in Iran, what with Bahai’s and Christians suddenly rounded up. It’s not just the doctors.  As usual.   We’ll see.