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Laura Rozen, over at War and Piece, is hinting that the Larry Franklin story is related to MEK, the anti-Iranian terrorist group operating out of Iraq. Juan Cole has two posts discussing a Jerusalem Post article which alleges that:

The purpose of the meeting with Ghorbanifar was to undermine a pending deal that the White House had been negotiating with the Iranian government. At the time, Iran had considered turning over five al-Qaida operatives in exchange for Washington dropping its support for Mujahadeen Khalq, an Iraq-based rebel Iranian group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department.
Last month, the US extended official Geneva Convention protection to the MEK. Looks like Franklin's AIPAC gambit paid dividends.

Cole notes that Abu Musab Zarqawi was one of the operatives Iran offered to hand over. That is the second time the administration passed on a chance to nab Zarqawi.

Update 8/31/04, 5:56 pm EST: So Iran has arrested a dozen or so spies, apparently all connected to the MEK. Laura Rozen links to a Jerusalem Post article; Mitch Cohen provides details.


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