There is nothing paradoxical about the super-efficient professional Al-Qods Brigades enlisting a Mexican drug cartel for a hit squad to assassinate Ambassador al-Jubeir. For at least 20 years, Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hizballah has kept itself in funds by drug trafficking, gunrunning and fencing stolen goods and today controls entire networks in Latin America and Africa.
This fact is well known, fully recorded and easily available to anyone interested.
The most competent clandestine organizations often use inept losers like the Iranian-born New York American Mansour Arbabsiar for „dirty operations.“ They tend to be a far cry from the high-IQ superspies of film and fiction. In this case, he may have been the best foot soldier available. Al Qods maintains small sleeper cells among the 900,000 Iranian expatriates living in the United States, more than half of them in California and Texas. But its active agents are by and large of the same substandard caliber as Arbabsiar.
There is another possibility: His Al Qods controllers expected the plot to be foiled. They knew Arbabsiar was under FBI surveillance after an unsuccessful attempt to enter the drug market, and watched him walk into a trap when he tried to hire a DEA agent posing as a member of the Mexican drug cartel.
Had the assassination taken place, it would have been treated as an act of war by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. (The Saudi and Israeli embassies were to be bombed at the same time in Buenos Aires.)
Mojtaba and Soleimani did not intend to go that far or provoke a full-blown war. A foiled plot was to be the cue for a limited armed confrontation which was all their „grand plan“ required – and that result appears to be building up.