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A Real Iran Crisis Story Behind 'The Diplomat'
In 2007 a US Navy admiral plotted to create a military clash with Iran
The Diplomat, the military crisis-cum-rom/com series now winning popular, if not critical, plaudits on Netflix, is bolted to a plot line featuring a U.S. ambassador to London’s desperate attempt to head off a war with Iran following a mysterious attack on a British aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
Played by Keri Russell, straight from her triumphal role as an undercover Soviet spy in The Americans, Ambassador Kate Wyler is a Middle East expert who smells political machinations behind the urges of the British P.M. and the American president to attack Iran.
As it turns out, there was a real life plot by high-ranking American admirals in 2007 to provoke Iran into a military confrontation. And that plot was derailed by an equally winsome political adviser to the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, Gwenyth Todd, who persuaded top State Department officials, who had been kept in the dark, to intervene.
“To Todd, it was like something straight out of “Seven Days in May,” the 1964 political thriller about a right-wing U.S. military coup,” I wrote in the August 21, 2012 edition of The Washington Post Sunday Magazine.
The nearly 5,000 word piece failed to get much traction, almost certainly because key State Department officials involved in stopping the plot refused to go on the record. The admiral involved also dismissed my findings. But it’s worth revisiting today, I think, amid rising voices for a military showdown with China in the South China Sea, not to mention escalation with Russia over Ukraine. You be the judge. ###
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