The Embassy of Israel on International Drive NW in D.C.
What escaped the attention of many was another alleged high-profile component to the plot, according to an Israeli envoy.
"They also planned to blow up the Israeli Embassy, my embassy in this town," Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren confirmed in an exclusive interview with WTOP. Oren says there additionally was a plan "to blow up a restaurant not far from where we're being interviewed in Washington." (Oren was interviewed at WTOP in NW D.C.)
According to documents from the Department of Justice, Arbabsiar allegedly was acting as an agent of the Iranian government. The official indictment says he was working with Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Qods Force, which is a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Shakuri is still at large.
On Tuesday, Israel sent a strong ultimatum to Iran's Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei warning him to shut down the country's nuclear weapons program or face the possibility of widespread destruction that might affect him personally. Oren says he can "shut it down and remain in power."
Until this open war - which the Israeli government suggests could begin in a matter of months - actually starts, the "shadow war" between the two has advanced to the point where it's Israel's turn again.
After the thunderous blast that rocked the Black Sea city of Burgas in Bulgaria on July 18, killing five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver and wounding more than 30 people, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge for a string of attacks in India, Thailand, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kenya and Cyprus.
There is very little doubt in the U.S. intelligence community that if Israel does attack Iran, there will be strong consequences, not the least of which is Iran's unorthodox style of retaliation.
Fred Burton, who retired as deputy director of the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, says Iran uses its global network of diplomatic facilities to plan and plot attacks.
"It's been my experience that these locations would be a base of operations to where they could utilize their official network of Iranian diplomatic passports and the diplomatic pouch to circumvent security airports through the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," Burton says.