What I find entertaining about stories like this one in the Washington Post is the constant use of the adjectives like elaborate and complicated.
Let's be clear about this: This is a failing of U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism.
This stuff isn't that complicated and elaborate.
Instead of actually doing their job and stopping stupid schemes like this, the government and more specifically the CIA, would rather bellyache about Leon Panetta.
Give me a damn break!
I could set up a scheme like this in about and hour, but I wouldn't do so because I actually give a crap about my country.
The best way to deal with this sort of bullshit is to make it too costly from a social standpoint on Iran. The old way of sanctions and embargoes has done wonders, so perhaps we should try something a little less muscular (like sanctions and military might) and more intelligent (like outsmarting them).
What I suggest is that we make their people love us so much that it become too politically costly for their politicians and leaders to mess with us. If we did something like that, we'd win.
We've tried the alternative, so now we should be reminded of Winston Churchill's chestnut about Americans: "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted all other possibilities."
Well, we've tried and failed at the tough guy bit. Let's try actually talking to the bastards.