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Good News On Iran Front

Annie

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For days they've been looking for this guy, he HAS turned up here, the Iranians cannot be happy about this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/07/AR2007030702241.html

Former Iranian Defense Official Talks to Western Intelligence

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A16

A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran's ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.

Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari's whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence.

Asgari served in the Iranian government until early 2005 under then-President Mohammad Khatami. Asgari's background suggests that he would have deep knowledge of Iran's national security infrastructure, conventional weapons arsenal and ties to Hezbollah in south Lebanon. Iranian officials said he was not involved in the country's nuclear program, and the senior U.S. official said Asgari is not being questioned about it. Former officers with Israel's Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Asgari had been instrumental in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, around the time of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, quoted the country's top police chief, Brig. Gen. Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam, as saying that Asgari was probably kidnapped by agents working for Western intelligence agencies. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Asgari was in the United States. Another U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, denied that report and suggested that Asgari's disappearance was voluntary and orchestrated by the Israelis. A spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council did not return a call for comment.

The Israeli government denied any connection to Asgari. "To my knowledge, Israel is not involved in any way in this disappearance," said Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry.

An Iranian official, who agreed to discuss Asgari on the condition of anonymity, said that Iranian intelligence is unsure of Asgari's whereabouts but that he may have been offered money, probably by Israel, to leave the country. The Iranian official said Asgari was thought to be in Europe. "He has been out of the loop for four or five years now," the official said.

Israeli and Turkish newspapers reported yesterday that Asgari disappeared in Istanbul shortly after he arrived there on Feb. 7. Iran sent a delegation to Turkey to investigate his disappearance and requested help from Interpol in locating him.

...
 

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That could a good thing with added intel from a insider but I really don't think you can trust any of the people in the end!
 

Tarantulas

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I saw a rumor that his family had left Iran before he did, so there would be no barrier to him telling everything he knows.
 
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Annie

Annie

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More information:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article1497034.ece

March 11, 2007
Defector spied on Iran for years
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv

AN Iranian general who defected to the West last month had been spying on Iran since 2003 when he was recruited on an overseas business trip, according to Iranian sources.

This weekend Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, 63, the former deputy defence minister, is understood to be undergoing debriefing at a Nato base in Germany after he escaped from Iran, followed by his family.

A daring getaway via Damascus was organised by western intelligence agencies after it became clear that his cover was about to be blown. Iran’s notorious secret service, the Vavak, is believed to have suspected that he was a high-level mole.

According to the Iranian sources, the escape took several months to arrange. At least 10 close members of his family had to flee the country. Asgari has two sons, a daughter and several grandchildren and it is believed that all, including his daughters-in-law, are now out of Iran. Their final destination is unknown.

Asgari is said to have carried with him documents disclosing Iran’s links to terrorists in the Middle East. It is not thought that he had details of the country’s nuclear programme.

An Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, claimed this weekend that Mossad, Israel’s external security service, had orchestrated his defection. There is some evidence that the Mossad station in Istanbul was involved in shadowing Asgari after he arrived in Turkey via Damascus last month.

It is unclear which intelligence organisation he was spying for. “He probably was working for Mossad but believed he was working for a European intelligence agency,” said an Israeli defence source.

Asgari’s escape has provoked alarm in the Iranian regime. “Asgari is a gold mine for western intelligence,” said an Israeli defence source. “We have been following him for years, especially since the late 1980s when he was commander of the Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon.”


In 1997 he was appointed deputy defence minister in charge of internal investigations. He uncovered several cases of embezzlement in the Republican Guard that made him unpopular. He was pushed aside after President Mahmoud Ahmadine-jad came to power in 2006. The two had been rivals for many years and Asgari realised that his days were numbered.

During an overseas business trip in 2003 he is said to have met a new business partner, who turned out to be a foreign intelligence officer. “Ali Reza was a wealthy man even before 2003,” said an Iranian source. “Since 2003 he has become a very wealthy man.”

On February 7, four days after arriving in Damascus and having been assured his family was safe, Asgari boarded a flight to Istanbul. He was given a new passport and left Turkey by car - to disappear into the shadows.
 

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