It took a country-wide power outage in Venezuela, whispers of a cyberattack, and smug tweets from US officials to make me suddenly recall the cloak-and-dagger story of a close Iranian-American friend nine years ago. My friend, an engineer - who I will not name for obvious reasons and who I will call 'Kourosh' for the purpose of this article - revealed to me in 2010 that he was approached by two "State Department employees" who offered him $250,000 to "do something very simple" during his upcoming trip to Tehran. Kourosh was freaking out because he didn't know how these guys knew he was going to Iran in the first place, and how they knew he was "cash-strapped," in the second. He wasn't a particularly political person, though he had participated in some DC protests in the aftermath of the hotly contested 2009 presidential elections. He was just one of thousands of Iranian-American engineers in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia technology belt looking to make a decent living. Kourosh...
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