Matthew Gould and the Plot to Attack Iran 440

This is Matthew Gould, second from right, British Ambassador to Israel, who was pictured speaking at a meeting of the Leeds Zionist Federation that was also the opening of the Leeds Hasbarah Centre. The Leeds Zionist Federation is part of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, motto “Speaking Up for Israel.” A collection was made at the meeting to send packages to members of the Israeli Defence Force.

On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.

Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.

The six meetings between British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and Minister of Defence Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together – only two of which were revealed by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell in his “investigation” into Werritty’s unauthorised role in the Ministry of Defence – raise vital concerns about a secret agenda for war at the core of government, comparable to Blair’s determination to drive through a war on Iraq..

This is a detective story. It begins a few weeks ago, when the Fox-Werritty scandal was first breaking in the media. I had a contact from an old friend from my Foreign Office days. This friend had access to the Gus O’Donnell investigation. He had given a message for me to a trusted third party.

Whistleblowing in the surveillance state is a difficult activity. I left through a neighbour’s garden, not carrying a mobile phone, puffed and panted by bicycle to an unmonitored but busy stretch of road, hitched a lift much of the way, then ordered a minicab on a payphone from a country pub to my final destination, a farm far from CCTV. There the intermediary gave me the message: what really was worrying senior civil servants in the Cabinet Office was that the Fox-Werritty link related to plans involving Mossad and the British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould.

Since I became a notorious whistleblower, several of my ex-friends and contacts have used me to get out information they wanted to leak, via my blog. A good recent example was a senior friend at the UN who tipped me off in advance on the deal by which the US agreed to the Saudi attack on pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain, in return for Arab League support for the NATO attack on Libya. But this was rather different, not least in the apparent implication that our Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, was engaged in something with Werritty which went beyond official FCO policy.

I was particularly concerned by this because I knew slightly and liked Matthew Gould, from the time he wrote speeches for Robin Cook. I hoped there was nothing much in it. But then Gould’s name started to come up as professional journalists dug into the story, and reported Werritty’s funding by pro-Israeli lobby groups.

I decided that the best approach was for me to write to Matthew Gould. I did so, asking him when he had first met Werritty, how many times he had met him, and how many communications of every kind there had been between them. I received the reply that these questions would be answered in Gus O’Donnell’s report.

But Gus O’Donnell’s report in fact answered none of these questions. It only mentioned two meetings at which Fox, Gould and Werritty were all three present. It did not mention Gould-Werritty bilateral meetings and contacts at all. To an ex-Ambassador like me, there was also something very fishy about the two trilateral meetings O’Donnell did mention and his characterisation of them.

This led me to dig further, and I was shocked to find that O’Donnell was, at the most charitable interpretation, economical with the truth. In fact there were at least six Fox-Werritty-Gould meetings, not the two given by O’Donnell. Why did GOD lie? I now had no doubt that my informant had pointed me towards something very real and very important indeed.

Matthew Gould was the only British Ambassador who Fox and Werrity met together. They met him six times. Why?

The first meeting to which O’Donnell admits, took place in September 2010. O’Donnell says this was

“a general discussion of international defence and security matters to enable Mr Gould better to understand MOD’s perspective.”

O’Donnell says Werritty should not have been present. An FCO spokesman told me on 21 October that

“Mr Gould’s meeting with the Defence Secretary was arranged by his office as part of his pre-posting briefing calls.”

All Ambassadors make pre-posting briefing calls around Whitehall before taking up their job, as you would expect. But even for our most senior Ambassadors, outside the Foreign Office those calls are not at Secretary of State level. Senior officials are quite capable of explaining policy to outgoing Ambassadors; Secretaries of State have many other things to do.

For this meeting to happen at all was not routine, and Werritty’s presence made it still more strange. Why was this meeting happening? I dug further, and learnt from a senior MOD source that there were two more very strange things about this meeting, neither noted by O’Donnell. There was no private secretary or MOD official present to take note of action points, and the meeting took place not in Fox’s office, but in the MOD dining room.

O’Donnell may have been able to fox the media, but to a former Ambassador this whole meeting stunk. I bombarded the FCO with more questions, and discovered an amazing fact left out by O’Donnell. The FCO spokesman replied to me on 21 October 2011 that:

“Mr Werritty was also present at an earlier meeting Mr Gould had with Dr Fox in the latter’s capacity as shadow Defence Secretary.”

So Gould, Fox and Werritty had got together before Gould was Ambassador, while Fox was still in opposition and while Werritty was – what, exactly? This opened far more questions than it answered. I put them to the FCO. When, where and why had this meeting happened? We only knew it was before May 2010, when Fox took office. What was discussed? There are very strict protocols for senior officials briefing opposition front bench spokesman. Had they been followed?

The FCO refused point blank to answer any further questions. I turned to an independent-minded MP, Jeremy Corbyn, who put down a parliamentary question to William Hague. The reply quite deliberately ignored almost all of Corbyn’s question, but it did throw up an extraordinary bit of information – yet another meeting between Fox, Werritty and Gould, which had not been previously admitted.

Hague replied to Corbyn that:

“Our ambassador to Israel was also invited by the former Defence Secretary to a private social engagement in summer 2010 at which Adam Werritty was present.”

Getting to the truth was like drawing teeth, but the picture was building. O’Donnell had completely mischaracterised the “Briefing meeting” between Fox, Werritty and O’Donnell by hiding the fact that the three had met up at least twice before – once for a meeting when Fox was in opposition, and once for “a social engagement.” The FCO did not answer Corbyn’s question as to who else was present at this “social engagement”.

This was also key because Gould’s other meetings with Fox and Werritty were being characterised – albeit falsely – as simply routine, something Gould had to do in the course of his ambassadorial duties. But this attendance at “a private social engagement” was a voluntary act by Gould, indubitable proof that, at the least, the three were happy in each other’s company, but given that all three were very active in zionist causes, it was a definite indication of something more than that.

That furtive meeting between Fox, Werritty and Gould in the MOD dining room, deliberately held away from Fox’s office where it should have taken place, and away from the MOD officials who should have been there, now looks less like briefing and more like plotting.

My existing doubts about the second and only other meeting to which O’Donnell does admit make plain why that question is very important.

O’Donnell had said that Gould, Fox and Werritty had met on 6 February 2011:

“in Tel Aviv. This was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK Ambassador was present.”

There was something very wrong here. Any ex-Ambassador knows that any dinner with senior figures from your host country, at which the British Ambassador to that country and a British Secretary of State are both present, and at which international affairs are discussed, can never be “private”. You are always representing the UK government in that circumstance. The only explanation I could think of for O’Donnell’s astonishing description of this as a “private” dinner was that the discussion was far from being official UK policy.

I therefore asked the FCO who was at this dinner, what was discussed, and who was paying for it? I viewed the last as my trump card – if either Gould or Fox was receiving hospitality, they are obliged to declare it. To my astonishment the FCO refused to say who was present or who paid. Corbyn’s parliamentary question also covered the issue of who was at this dinner, to which he received no reply.

Plainly something was very wrong. I therefore again asked how often Gould had met or communicated with Werritty without Fox being present. Again the FCO refused to reply. But one piece of information that had been found by other journalists was that, prior to the Tel Aviv dinner, Fox, Gould and Werritty had together attended the Herzilya conference in Israel. The programme of this is freely available. It is an unabashedly staunch zionist annual conference on “Israel’s security”, which makes no pretence at a balanced approach to Palestinian questions and attracts a strong US neo-conservative following. Fox, Gould and Werritty sat together at this event.

Yet again, the liar O’Donnell does not mention it.

I then learnt of yet another, a sixth meeting between Fox, Gould and Werritty. This time my infomrant was another old friend, a jewish diplomat for another country, based at an Embassy in London. They had met Gould, Fox and Werritty together at the “We believe in Israel” conference in London in May 2011. Here is a photo of Gould and Fox together at that conference.

I had no doubt about the direction this information was leading, but I now needed to go back to my original source. Sometimes the best way to hide something is to put it right under the noses of those looking for it, and on Wednesday I picked up the information in a tent at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul’s cathedral.

This is the story I was given.

Matthew Gould was Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Iran, a country which Werritty frequently visited, and where Werritty claimed to have British government support for plots against Ahmadinejad. Gould worked at the British Embassy in Washington; the Fox-Werritty Atlantic Bridge fake charity was active in building links between British and American neo-conservatives and particularly ultra-zionists. Gould’s responsibilities at the Embassy included co-ordination on US policy towards Iran. The first meeting of all three, which the FCO refuses to date, probably stems from this period.

According to my source, there is a long history of contact between Gould and Werritty. The FCO refuse to give any information on Gould-Werritty meetings or communications except those meetings where Fox was present – and those have only been admitted gradually, one by one. We may not have them all even yet.

My source says that co-ordinating with Israel and the US on diplomatic preparation for an attack on Iran was the subject of all these meetings. That absolutely fits with the jobs Gould held at the relevant times. The FCO refuses to say what was discussed. My source says that, most crucially, Iran was discussed at the Tel Aviv dinner, and the others present represented Mossad. The FCO again refuses to say who was present or what was discussed.

On Wednesday 2 November it was revealed in the press that under Fox the MOD had prepared secret and detailed contingency plans for British participation in an attack on Iran.

There are very important questions here. Was Gould really discussing neo-con plans for attacking Iran with Werritty and eventually with Fox before the Conservatives were even in government? Why did O’Donnell’s report so carefully mislead on the Fox-Gould-Werritty axis? How far was the FCO aware of MOD preparations for attacking Iran? Is there a neo-con cell of senior ministers and officials, co-ordinating with Israel and the United States, and keeping their designs hidden from the Conservative’s coalition partners?

The government could clear up these matters if it answered some of the questions it refuses to answer, even when asked formally by a member of parliament. The media have largely moved on from the Fox-Werritty affair, but have barely skimmed the surface of the key questions it raises. They relate to secrecy, democratic accountabilty and preparations to launch a war, preparations which bypass the safeguards of good government. The refusal to give straight answers to simple questions by a member of perliament strikes at the very root of our democracy.

Is this not precisely the situation we were in with Blair and Iraq? Have no lessons been learnt?

There is a further question which arises. Ever since the creation of the state of Israel, the UK had a policy of not appointing a jewish Briton as Ambassador, for fear of conflict of interest. As a similar policy of not appointing a catholic Ambassador to the Vatican. New Labour overturned both longstanding policies as discriminatory. Matthew Gould is therefore the first jewish British Ambassador to Israel.

Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as “Not just an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.

It is thus most unfortunate that it is Gould who is the only British Ambassador to have met Fox and Werritty together, who met them six times, and who now stands suspected of long term participation with them in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel. This makes it even more imperative that the FCO answers now the numerous outstanding questions about the Gould/Werritty relationship and the purpose of all those meetings with Fox.

There is no doubt that the O’Donnell report’s deceitful non-reporting of so many Fox-Gould-Werritty meetings, the FCO’s blunt refusal to list Gould-Werritty, meetings and contacts without Fox, and the refusal to say who else was present at any of these occasions, amounts to irrefutable evidence that something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government. I have no doubt that my informant is telling the truth, and the secret is the plan to attack Iran. It fits all the above facts. What else does?

Please feel free to re-use and republish this article anywhere, commercially or otherwise. It has been blocked by the mainstream media. I write regularly for the mainstream media and this is the first article of mine I have ever been unable to publish. People have risked a huge amount by leaking me information in an effort to stop the government machinery from ramping up a war with Iran. There are many good people in government who do not want to see another Iraq. Please do all you can to publish and redistribute this information.

UPDATE A commenter has already pointed me to this bit of invaluable evidence:

“My government absolutely agrees with your conception of the Iranian threat and the importance of your determination to battle it.” Dealing with the Iranian threat will be a large part of my work here.” Gould said.

From Israel National News. It also says that he will be trying to promote a positive atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, but the shallowest or the deepest search shows the same picture; an entirely biased indeed fanatical zionist who must give no confidence at all to the Palestinian Authority. He must be recalled.

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440 thoughts on “Matthew Gould and the Plot to Attack Iran

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  • Quelcrime

    Thanks for this, Craig.
    There are many good people in government who do not want to see another Iraq.
    Well they ought to have resigned then, because they’ve just made themselves another Iraq. It’s called Libya. If anything it’ll be worse than Iraq.

  • angrysoba

    On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.

    Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.

    And Craig Murray said, “Zionism is bullshit!” which is also unusual behaviour for a diplomat, so presumably it takes all kinds.

  • Rob

    This kind of intel is the sort of thing that makes people feel “suicidal”. Watch your back Craig–you know what I am talking about. Best of luck.

  • mary

    Excellent Craig. You have the fullest support from all of us here – well nearly all of us. I am pleased that your recent visit to St Paul’s was productive.

  • kickstar

    I would have thought that a British Ambassador to a foreign country would first and foremost have Britain’s interests paramount, and I would not have expected him/her to go around expressing unequivocal support for the regime in his/her now resident country. Seems very strange and aloof behavior to say the least. And I certainly would expect this ambassador to be recalled forthwith.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    ‘You cannot do this job without being a passionate Zionist.’ — Britain’s new ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, tells the Manchester-based Jewish Telegraph.
    As a friend of mine remarked when I pointed this out immediately following Fox’s resignation: What if Her Majesty’s Government had appointed a white supremacist as its ambassador to S. Africa? Or a Communist as its ambassador to Moscow?

    Gould, along with fellow Zionist & Lord Mayor of London Mike Bear, key figure in bankster campaign to remove the London Occupy camp from St Paul’s Cathedral, opening in June 2011, the Tel Aviv stock exchange:

  • John Goss

    Excellent piece Craig. And so important if we are to oppose the threat of perpetual war at the behest of Zionist-Neocon pressure groups. Excellent piece of journalism. Hague should resign.

  • Antelope Grazer

    Not sure I follow the bit about six meetings. I must have lost count somewhere around four. Could you list them, for clarity?

    If the GOD report was only talking about meetings when Fox was a minister (is that correct?), how many of the six were during that period?

  • mike

    Excellent and important piece, Craig.

    Going back to Blair and Iraq, can we ask, in light of the Fox scandal: Has the British state been infiltrated by an operationally effective neocon/zionist presence?

    Sound like an episode of ‘Spooks’!

    In any even, these fuckers want war. They have to be stopped.

  • Janus

    kickstar: “And I certainly would expect this ambassador to be recalled forthwith.”

    Hear, hear.

  • craig Post author

    Antelope Grazer

    Fox Gould Werritty tripartite meetings

    One while Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary, ie before May 2010 – source FCO spokesman 21 October

    Two a social engagement in Summer 2010 – source reply to Corbyn’s parliamentary question 31 October

    Three a “brieifng” meeting in the MOD September 2010 – source O’Donnell report

    Four Herzilya conference fed 2011 – source numerous press reports

    Five “Private Dinner” Tel Aviv Feb 6 2011 source O’Donnell report

    Six “We believe in Israel Conference” London May 2011 source foreign diplomat in London

  • Stephen

    “There are very important questions here. Was Gould really discussing neo-con plans for attacking Iran with Werritty and eventually with Fox before the Conservatives were even in government? Why did O’Donnell’s report so carefully mislead on the Fox-Gould-Werritty axis? How far was the FCO aware of MOD preparations for attacking Iran? Is there a neo-con cell of senior ministers and officials, co-ordinating with Israel and the United States, and keeping their designs hidden from the Conservative’s coalition partners?”

    I agree and they should continue to be asked. I don’t think you have proved that this amounts to a plan to attack Iran (although I daresay others here will see it as such) – the discussions may have, for example, been about sanctions or other methods which stop short of an attack, or they may have been meetings to get a better understanding of the Israeli position (which isn’t as striaghtforward as some may assume).

    They do demonstrate that Gould has a case to answer as to whether he has stepped over the line in being over partisan to Israel – but again without knowing what he said in the various meetings or what was actaully being discussed – we do not know that he has. And I for one believe that their should be due process before getting rid of disciplining public servants.

    As to why the story wasn’t accepted – may I suggest that moving from a “charitable explanation” to accusing O’Donnell of being “deceitful” may have had something to do with it as well as the other explanations provided.

    I know you may not like my analysis Craig – but it is honestly felt on my part.

  • mike

    One point I will make, Craig, is that the piece doesn’t read like a “hard” newspaper article. There are also a lot of unnamed sources, which is quite understandable, but might have put a lot of news editors off; the former can easily be addressed if you sit down with a hack and go over the text.

    The info is all there — and it’s pretty devastating.

  • mary

    Nearly 8000 results already for ‘craig murray matthew gould the plot to attack iran’ in under an hour since posting.
    12.56 GMT

  • Peter Bryce

    All readers should download this article: one never knows when when Craig’s website might suffer “problems”………….

  • ingo

    Absolutely agree with kickstar and Mike, an excellent work ‘Sherlock’, I hope that those journalistically minded amongst us have got it all already on their FB sites and that those you met for this info, are safe.

    Also do sent it to your MPs, show them we know what they don’t know, it riles them into action.

    I’m sure that EU embassies hearing of this will get a little frustrated with the current economic blame being put on their countries, they will be spitting dice to see that Bicom has more influence on our foreing policy resolve than the EU or NATO.

    Watch your steps Craig, you know what they are like, although MI6 who warned off Werrity should really focus on the issue rather than mauling the messenger, hope I’m right.

  • John Goss

    Stephen, may I suggest you read Quelcrime’s and Komodo’s links to Hague and Gould and you will see that it is not just Craig’s postulations that show a definite trend to attack Iran. Add to this the fact that it has been on the US agenda for nine years to attack Iran. You should be trying to avert any such illegal actions, not trying to find excuses.

  • Autonomous Mind

    While there is a great deal of information here there are two things missing.

    i) substantive evidence
    ii) context

    I understand how hard it is to obtain evidence when focusing on issues where there is so much at stake and you are dealing with the intelligence services. So this is not such a big deal.

    However, the absence of context here is somewhat concerning.

    While it would be folly for me to assume I know what the political class’ real aims and objectives are in respect of Iran, I would hope that substantial planning and preparation has been, and remains, underway to deal with the Iran’s apparent determination to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

    Iran represents a genuine threat to stability in the middle east. The world must not permit Iran to develop nuclear weapons. that has shown consistent hostility to Israel and has already used Hezbollah as a proxy to bring about conflict

  • kickstar

    We now seem to have a British Ambassador in Israel volunteering our services to go to war with Iran whether we like it or not.
    Matthew Gould the first Jewish British Ambassador to Israel has wasted no time in declaring his unswerving support for Israel, Matthew Gould who is the only British Ambassador to have met former defence chief Liam Fox and friend Adam Werritty together, who met them six times, and who now stands suspected of long term participation with them in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel.
    I cannot understand why this mans appointment Not just as an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.
    I further cannot understand with all the information that has been outed about him, why this ambassador still holds that post ?

  • Noel Doyle

    Is Werrity MI6? Would explain his attendance at all these meetings, especially the Mossad chats.

  • John Goss

    Autonomous Mind. The only country to have used nuclear weapons has been the US. I believe that if the USSR had not developed nuclear weapons the US would have continued using them. While I do not agree with any country developing such weapons Iran is much lower down on my list of fears than the US or Israel.

  • JohnC

    Thanks Craig – nothing like a good dose of Rage Against the Machine on a Monday morning. Can’t say I’m at all surprised by this – rage and despair are all that’s left. Keep on digging and watch your back.

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