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Iran link with Mexico drug cartel 'doubtful'

[ 2011-10-14 13:30]     字号 [] [] []  
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Mexico helped foil an alleged Iranian plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador to Washington aided by Mexican drug cartel hitmen, but experts have cast doubt on the purported local terror tie-in.

Some Mexican cartels do have the military capacity to plan an international hit, experts said.

But they have not shown great expertise on the explosives front, and they would not likely be keen to court US wrath which would only end up hurting their sales of illegal drugs to US citizens, experts warned.

"That sounds a lot more like the plot of a soap opera, or a good movie," said Jose Reveles, an expert on Mexico's cartels.

"If someone were to demonstrate involvement of Mexican extremist elements it would be on an individual basis and not as a cartel, because attacking the United States runs counter to their objectives," Reveles stressed.

Raul Benitez, an analyst at a North American affairs think tank at the National Autonomous University, agreed.

"What they (the cartels) want to do is make their sales in secret and make their money, not go around doing odd jobs," Benitez said.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said the suspect in the alleged plot to kill the Saudi diplomat was arrested on Sept 29 on returning from Mexico after meeting there with an undercover US agent posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

The US Justice Department charged that Mansor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old dual Iranian-US citizen, and Gholam Shakuri, a member of Iran's elite special operations Quds Force, conspired to kill ambassador Adel al-Jubeir with a bomb in a restaurant.

In Washington, the Mexican embassy issued a statement suggesting the two countries cooperate closely.

"From the very first moment, Mexico and the United States exchanged information and acted in a coordinated way," the Mexican embassy stressed.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is considering decisive steps over the alleged Iranian plot, according to a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.

The statement, issued in Arabic and English late on Wednesday, condemned what it called "the outrageous and heinous" assassination plot and said the kingdom would continue its contacts and coordination with the US over it.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iran link with Mexico drug cartel 'doubtful'

About the broadcaster:

Iran link with Mexico drug cartel 'doubtful'

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.