Claims the Atlantic, but the article’s behind a firewall so we’ll have to make do with hearsay from Raw Story.

Since last Fall, he writes, “Rice and her colleagues in the administration decided to embark on a daring and risky third course: a coordinated campaign, directed with the help of the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates….The bill for the covert part of this activity, which has involved funding sectarian political movements and paramilitary groups in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, is said to amount to more than $300 million. It is being paid by Saudi Arabia and other concerned Gulf states, for whom the combination of a hasty American withdrawal from Iraq and a nuclear-armed Iran means trouble.”

Samuels suggests that Iran has already faced a variety of internal attacks as a consequence of this covert program.

“They pointed to an upsurge in antigovernment guerrilla activity inside Iran, including a bomb in Zahedan, the economic center of the province of Baluchistan, that killed 11 soldiers in the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on February 14; the mysterious death of the Iranian scientist Ardashir Hosseinpour, who worked on uranium enrichment at the Isfahan nuclear facility; and the defection of a high-ranking Iranian general named Ali Asgari, a former deputy minister of defense who was also the Revolutionary Guard officer responsible for training and supplying Hezbollah during its war against the Israelis in southern Lebanon in the 1980s,” Samuels notes.

More than that, Samuels warns that these covert actions may soon target Iran’s petroleum sector.

We were doing daily Asgari posts back in March but he’s dropped off the radar since then. The Financial Times published a report last month quoting “friends” of his who believe he willingly defected, but the Atlantic story seems more likely given reports of other Iranian officers mysteriously disappearing around that time. I’m curious to know if it’s just Sunni Arab states in particular or Sunni states generally that are involved in this, given the recent reports of U.S. collusion with a Pakistani terrorist group waging jihad along Iran’s eastern border. We’ll have to wonder thanks to the firewall, but note that prediction about attacks on Iran’s creaky oil infrastructure — it makes a boatload of sense, and the Sunni/Shia tensions in Iraq plus the known presence of AQ fighters inside Iran gives the U.S.-Sunni alliance a convenient scapegoat if and when bombs do start going off at the refineries.