Iran's latest rejection of the U.S. allegations that two of its agents plotted to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador with a bomb attack in Washington, D.C. claims one of the men is actually a member of an exiled opposition group. That suggests the men concocted the "bogus scheme meant to frame and ostracize Iran," reports The New York Times, and it means the country is backing off its factual denials that the plot actually existed. From The Times:
The defendant, Gholam Shakuri, identified by the Justice Department as an operative of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, is actually a "key member" of the Muhajedeen -Khalq, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
The agency did not explain the group’s possible motive but left the implication that the plot was a bogus scheme meant to frame and ostracize Iran.
So far, Iran's line has been that the U.S. fabricated the plot in order to undermine Iran's diplomatic ties in the Middle East. As recently as Monday, Iranian officials had asked for the chance to examine the U.S. prosecutors' evidence "even if it was fabricated." The exiled group, known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran, denied it had anything to do with the plot, The Times reports. "Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman, said in an e-mailed response that 'this is a well-known tactic that has been used by the mullahs in the past 30 years where they blame their crimes on their opposition for double gains.' "