Were we worried about an Iranian sleeper cell? - Macleans.ca

Were we worried about an Iranian sleeper cell?


Brian Stewart offers a theory on the Harper government’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran.

I believe Harper acted on new intelligence. But the warnings were likely more about the Iranian embassy activities in Canada than they were about the safety of our personnel abroad. Indeed, the sheer number of reasons given for the diplomatic break may mask the true one: Iran’s aggressive use of diplomatic cover to prepare guerrilla cells to attack in the west should Iran itself be attacked.

Western intelligence has been ringing top-secret alarm bells for governments for over a year, warning of an extraordinary build-up of Iranian personnel in Europe, Africa and particularly in Latin America, many of them believed to be linked to Iran’s notorious Quds Force. That’s the elite arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, tasked with “extraterritorial operations.” Iran has powered up its diplomatic arm in the Americas, from a handful of embassies a dozen years ago to 10 today, along with 17 “cultural centres” in various countries. Most posts are staffed with far more officials than required for normal duties – 150 in Nicaragua alone. In January, America’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, publicly stated that Iranian diplomats abroad were setting up sleeper cells designed to attack U.S. and allied interests around the world in the event of war.

Michael Petrou’s analysis is here.


Were we worried about an Iranian sleeper cell?

  1. Makes sense

  2. Iran has been threatened since the 70s by Israel and the US….over nuclear plants.

    The very nuclear plants the US gave the Shah of Iran years ago.


    Of course then we’re surprised that Iran might actually put a plan in place to defend itself….how dare they??

    Plus….Harper wanted the approval of Israel, and an award

    Harper named ‘World Statesman of the Year’ by NY foundation


    • Emilyone, are you out of your mind? Let me ask you a question. If you were flying a plane and you had to do an emergency landing in Israel or Iran, which would you choose? If you had to go to jail because you broke the law and you had a choice between an American jail or one in an Arab country, which would you choose? Wich one has a record for stoning and raping women?

      • ???

        Iran was a centre of learning and education over 5000 years ago. Cradle of civilization and all. They’ve gone through ups and downs like all countries since then.

        Iran today is full of perfectly normal people….just like other countries. No different than you….not ‘evil’. In fact the young people of Iran have long been trying to turf the current rulers. And they got their current rulers because the west interfered!

        If we’d leave them alone to handle their own affairs and stop interfering they wouldn’t be so testy. The west installed that butcher of a Shah you know….hence the ayatollah revolution.

        • I know about Iran’s past and I do know that many people (not just the youth) want the current dictator turfed. However, the American government or the American society should be the last to get a finger pointed at. Also, if you consider that all countries that surround Israel in the Middle East are enemies to Israel. Furthermore, Israel is the only democracy. All other countries are lead by dictators. So again, I think that if given the choice, you would choose Israel or the U.S. over any other country in the Middle East right? Be honest now.

          • Since the US caused the whole Shah problem, of course the finger should be pointed at them. The US has a long history of intervening where it doesn’t belong. So does the UK….and they both screwed up the ME.

            Israel got plunked down in the middle of already occupied countries….how would you like it if the UN plonked some other country down in the middle of Canada?? It was a surefire way to cause trouble and war on a permanent basis, and that’s what they got.

            No, I wouldn’t ‘choose Israel’….it’s no better than the rest of them

          • Of course, Israel stones their women so yes they are worst than Iran? How can you be taken seriously when you crap on Israel and the U.S. and forget the human rights crimes in the Arab countries? Not once did you mention these. From your comments, I can tell that any man would love to be married to you. You must be quite a catch I tell you. Just say’n

          • In Israel there are orthodox places where women with bare elbows are stoned, have to sit at the back of the bus, and must get off the sidewalk for a male. Haven’t you ever noticed women don’t go to pray at the Wailing Wall?

            And hey, compare Iran to Saudi Arabia….it’s just as bad, yet we’re best buds with the Saudis.

            I’ve been married 44 years hon….stop being a dick.

          • Now you getting honest and sensible. Good for you girl and don’t let up. By the way, I’d rather have to sit in the back of the bus or move off the sidewalk than being beheaded, you? Look on the internet and search beheadings of women in the Middle East and see if you can find one in Israel?

          • You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about, you just want to promote white supremacy.

            Sorry, no sale.

          • You know, being married for 44 years does not equate to bliss and harmony. There is a good chance that your boy has tuned you out a long time ago. Why? Because when you argue, you always reason the same way you reason the Middle East issues. You try to make people believe that you would rather live in a country that beheads women over a country that makes them ride the back of the bus. Real credible sweety.

          • There’s a good chance you wear a hood.

            It’s the only point you have.

          • Fail!

          • Yes, you did. Now bugger off.

          • This entire thread has gotten much too silly.

          • Colonel, consider yourself told. lol. Emily is no longer happy with us

          • Agreed. There are few serious commenters here.

            Most are partisan hacks, and usually racist and sexist as well.

            Think teens spray-painting a building at night.

          • That was directed at BOTH of you.

          • Then you have lousy aim for a Colonel. LOL

          • Emily, don’t go away mad, just go away

          • Perhaps now Colonel, after further reading, you understand why I have no patience with these morons.

          • Speaking of impertinent teens, I was sort of enjoying that exchange, dad. Why do you grownups always have to spoil the fun?

          • I am floored! She told me to bugger off. Alas! What shall I do now?

          • See, there’s your problem

            You set out to prove Iranians are ‘eviler’ than other people….and when it turns out they’re not, suddenly you’re worried about my marriage. LOL

          • I don’t think they are worst, never thought that. My point is that they are guilty of great crimes that you seem unwilling to acknowledge

          • Um….no they aren’t. In fact they’ve never done anything to us.

          • You hypocrite! So if one murders another, it’s ok as long as it’s not done to you or your family. You are sick!

          • People murder each other in every country on earth….including this one.

          • I’m pretty sure the point being made is that both countries ostracize and take basic human rights away from women.
            Women are beheaded in Islamic countries for the same reasons they are stoned to death in Israel.

          • Hey Dick, women do not get stoned in Israel and you know it. Another dishonest dick

          • I thought you were divorced from the person you were married to when you lived in Alberta. If you are only 66 years old….hmmm…..44 years married……..?

          • Married in Cold Lake town hall in 1968. Never been divorced.

          • Wow….Cold Lake….home of the 414 Fighter Squadron isn’t it? Not to mention ESSO Oil in a BIG way.

          • Does this matter?

  3. Alternate theory…

    Israel is getting ready to strike. The timing of their strike is dependent on the US election. If Obama is perceived to be winning Israel might go before the US Election.

    Harper is Israel’s best friend in the world right now. Maybe a courtesy heads-up was given.

    EDIT: Thanks to HealthCare Insider for pointing out Coyne floated this in the NP this morning…hadn’t seen that when I posted this

    • Nonsense. Israel knows very well that if Harper ever has to go beyond useless rhetoric he’ll turn tail.

    • Andrew Coyne is suggesting this “alternate theory” in the National Post today. Funny how Wherry didn’t print that.

      • Probably because everyone has guessed that.

      • In the exact same article, Andrew Coyne also questions this theory, asking if that’s the case, how did Canada come to this conclusion independent of other nations? Why is Canada the only country leaving?
        Funny how you didn’t print that.

        • Andrew wrote alot of things in his article. His article did not chastise the Canadian government. My question is a simple one. Why didn’t Wherry reference Coyne’s article in the National Post when he referened someone elses? It isn’t up to me so spew the whole article out…I think everyone here can find it and read it themselves.

    • People should be serious… Let’s play along with this silly premise for a moment and pretend that Israel is planning a pre-emptive strike against Iran in the very near future. Let’s suppose further that they have tipped off a few of their closest allies in order to let them tip on out of town while the getting is good. Does anyone suppose that they would suggest their allies make a dramatic exit complete with announcement sideshows, dramatics, histrionics and denunciations? Or do you suppose, instead, that they might put a quiet word in a few discrete ears about being prepared to leave quickly and quietly just prior to the event?

      I don’t know why people seem so anxious to give these people the benefit of the doubt. They have proven over and over and over again that they do not act in good faith, they do not have good intentions, and they are not making intelligent decisions an behalf of Canada.

      I know that hope springs eternal… but… c’mon.