The American

The American by Andrew Britton Read Free Book Online

Book: The American by Andrew Britton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrew Britton
was a constant source of worry for Hamza. How long could a man commit treason on such a grand scale before his conscience rallied against him?
    Another thought ate at him occasionally, though he had all but dismissed it: how far would the Americans go to plant someone in his organization? He did not think they would kill one of their own greedy politicians, but deep down he was aware that this was not necessarily true, and the doubt was a heavy stone in his stomach. There were people within the Western intelligence services who were very much like him, in that they did not consider themselves bound by law or moral imperative. Hamza himself had often been heard to say that these few exceptional individuals posed a greater threat to the organization than the entire might of the American military combined.
    The Egyptian did not betray any of these thoughts, his face an impassive mask. He turned to another man seated directly across from him, who had not spoken for the duration of the meeting. “Minister Mazaheri, thank you for being here this evening. I believe you have news to impart.”
    The newly appointed minister of intelligence and security nodded and went on to address the group, his eyes focusing intently on each face from behind simple steel-framed spectacles. “His Excellency is most pleased by what you have accomplished. He was angered by the American accusations, and wishes to thank you for the actions you have initiated against them. Tomorrow he will issue a statement declaring his intention to reopen the nuclear facility at Natanz.” This revelation brought murmured approval from the small group of men around the table, the few who were trusted enough to be told of this development.
    â€œOf course, production is already well under way. Recently installed gas centrifuges have dramatically increased the speed of the enrichment process, and our heavy-water reactor at Arak is currently producing weapons grade plutonium. We have, however, encountered several difficulties. The IAEA has its suspicions, as always, and is insisting on access to our facility in the south. This proposal is rapidly gaining support within the U.N. El-Baradei can be quite persistent. Additionally, we have been forced to import some of the components needed for the carbon casing and injection core. It will be difficult to bring these materials into the country without alerting the Americans.”
    The Iranian leaned forward, resting his hands on the rough surface of the table. His face was twisted in hatred when he spoke again. “This new resolution implemented by the West will set back the program by ten years or more if it is allowed to continue. For years we have survived only through the greed of European oil companies who regularly undermined the American sanctions. Now it appears that the French are starting to fall into line, as are the Italians…It is the opinion of my government that there is only one way to dissuade them from supporting these latest measures.”
    Hamza absorbed these comments silently, one hand carefully grooming his thick black mustache as he considered this statement. “A large-scale attack on U.S. soil. Many American deaths. Extensive news coverage and public backlash. These are the things that you need to cause a division, to break their will.”
    Ali Vahid Mazaheri nodded in agreement. “What do you suggest?”
    â€œThere are many options,” Hamza said. “First, a suitable target must be found. Everything depends on the target. A decisive strike will shatter the coalition; however, we may need assistance from His Excellency in mounting such an operation. Your government has seen how effective Al-Qaeda can be, even in our current weakened state.” He sent a respectful nod in the American’s direction. “Our Western friend has taken many risks that have once again brought us to the attention of the world. Speed is critical at this juncture if we wish to

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