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Missing Retired Iranian General Defects to US

And he could provide us with some very useful information about who is controlling the Iranian terrorists fighting in Iraq:

A RETIRED Iranian general who went missing in Turkey last month has defected and sought asylum in the US, according to a well-connected Arabic newspaper published in London.


The newspaper, al-Shark al-Awsat, cited "high-profile" sources saying former Iranian deputy defence minister and Revolutionary Guard commander Ali Reza Asghari had gone over to the West.

Reports from Istanbul that General Asghari's family had also disappeared in Turkey support the likelihood that he defected rather than was kidnapped by either the CIA or by Israel's Mossad, as has been speculated. The general went missing from his Istanbul hotel a month ago.

Iranian authorities, who have been silent on the disappearance until this week, claim he has been abducted. "It is likely Asghari has been abducted by Western intelligence services," said Iran's top police officer, General Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam.

Defection of such a high-ranking figure would leave no external enemy to blame and would be seen as a rejection of the Islamic state by someone who well knows its inner workings.

General Asghari's crossing of the line, whether voluntary or not, is a resounding blow for the Iranian Government since he is privy to its most intimate secrets, particularly those concerning its nuclear capabilities and plans.

He served until two years ago as deputy defence minister, a post he held for eight years and which presumably offered an uninhibited view of virtually every aspect of Iran's security apparatus.

He was reportedly closely associated with Iran's activities in support of the Shi'ites in Iraq.

US intelligence analysts contend that Iran has been providing armaments to Iraqi Shia fighters that have been used with deadly effect against coalition forces, particularly highly lethal roadside bombs.

General Asghari would presumably be able to address the question of whether these shipments have been made with "approval from top leaders in Iran", as a senior US intelligence officer has claimed.

If he confirms that Ahmadinejad himself is sending Iranian troops and weapons into Iraq, how do we not go after Iran? I'd also like to know if he has any information about Ahmadinejad's nuclear program.

Update: Pajamas Media reports that Asghari's defection hasn't been confirmed by any sovereign government but that Iran is panicking because the general had access to a lot of very sensitive information, including Iran's nuclear secrets:

Although the story has not been confirmed by any sovereign authority, it is already evident that the saga has created panic inside Ahmadinejad's administration.


Soon after his disappearance was discovered, Iran dispatched an operations team to Ankara to help the Turkish authorities to look for him. At the same time, a public relations campaign was launched with Iranian minister Mottaki has doing his best to downplay Asgari's importance as an official in order to reduce the damage to the Iranian government's image.

He wasn't fooling anyone.It is clear that Asgari is a man privy to numerous secrets which Iran desperately does not want revealed. As well as being a former deputy defence Minister, Asgari was also a General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). The IRGC, more than any other branch of Iran's armed forces, is aware of, and has access to Iran's nuclear program. Its members are in charge of monitoring and protecting Iran's nuclear installations, and scientists.

Update II: Fox News has more:

A Senior U.S. official told FOX News that Asghari is not in CIA hands but said that it's a "mystery" why he disappeared "and the U.S. intelligence community is seeking more clarity."


Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Asghari is being questioned by intelligence personnel before being transferred to the United States.

Update III: McQ at QandO says the upcoming meeting between Iran, Iraq, Syria and the US could be a lot more fun than originally thought.


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Comments (24)

Cue the libs claiming he wa... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Cue the libs claiming he was kidnapped and is being tortured, ergo no info he gives us is valid.

"...how do we not go after ... (Below threshold)
yo:

"...how do we not go after Iran?"

Now, as much as I would like to see the mullahs and mini-Hitler reduced to a fine, crimson mist, even if this guy does rat out on Iranian involvement, I'm not sure we can saddle up and ride into Iran.

Unless, of course, we go full-ball and unleash the entirety of American military might (just shy of nukes, but .. hey .. use 'em or lose 'em, right?); but that won't happen.

Of course, if it did, think of all of the new hippie songs we'd get to listen to.

Best thing it could do is muster up support to protect the Iran/Iraq border .. but, our history of border security isn't terribly spectacular.

If he confirms that Ahma... (Below threshold)

If he confirms that Ahmadinejad himself is sending Iranian troops and weapons into Iraq, how do we not go after Iran?

Should Turkey should attack Iraq because the Kurds in the north are providing arms to the separatist Kurdish groups fighting in Turkey?

Should the the Soviet Union should have attacked the US during the 1980s when we openly provided arms, financing, and intelligence to the Afghan freedom fighters?

How about attacking China during the Vietnam War when they were openly assisting the North Vietnamese?

This is standard big power gamesmanship. Bush won't use this as a casus belli especially since we are sending arms to separatist groups in Iran at the same time.

Curveball 2 - Electr... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Curveball 2 - Electric Bugaloo

Honest question, Larkin: D... (Below threshold)
yo:

Honest question, Larkin: Do you see a difference between providing arms/supplies and having troops (possibly) in active blue on red engagements?

I tend to agree with you, I'm just a bit fuzzy on your comparisons, and the crux of this argument may come down to if Iranians are taking up arms against US forces.

Yo,The Chinese wer... (Below threshold)

Yo,

The Chinese were publicly sending combatants into Korea to fight us there during WWII. We chose not to escalate that conflict into an all out war with them.

I have no doubt there are Iranian agents crawling all over Iraq supporting the Shiite militias that are allied to them. I'm less convinced that they are involved in an all-out offensive against our presence. The vast majority of our casualties occur in Anbar province and other Sunni areas where the Iranians are certainly not welcome due to their alliance with the Shiite militias.

It seems like we should be more focused on the supply lines for the Sunni insurgents that come from Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. But then again, this war has never made any sense.

yo: "and the crux of this a... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

yo: "and the crux of this argument may come down to if Iranians are taking up arms against US forces."

I don't think even taking up arms is necessarily sufficient. We had multiple proxy battles with the soviets, and that wasn't enough for direct engagement. Of course, MAD was involved there.

Still, proxy battles do not necessarily mean direct engagement.

Frankly, I'm coming to disdain the Chinese mantra "May you live in interesting times".

Larkin ..., gotcha'. I was... (Below threshold)
yo:

Larkin ..., gotcha'. I was wrestling with the Soviets supplying MiG pilots to North Korean/Vietnam in trying to figure out where I'm standing on this issue.

Speaking of North Korea, don't you mean the Korean War, not WWII? C'mon man ... I'm easily confused enough as it is.

Again, I agree that we won't probably see a rush into Iran over this, if anything, I think it'll be all amount to sanction fodder.

I'd read elsewhere that he ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I'd read elsewhere that he was in charge of the forces who raided a base in Iraq last month using US Army uniforms and vehicles, and had been hunted ever since.

Ahmadinejad is increasingly seen as mad, even by the mullahs. If this is a defection, it is big. If an assassination, not so much.
===============================

Let me guess. His code nam... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Let me guess. His code name is screwball.

Let me guess. His code name... (Below threshold)
yo:

Let me guess. His code name is screwball.
Posted by: BarneyG2000

No way, dude ... we wouldn't let some Iranian take your nick name.

HAH!!... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

HAH!!

yo-mama,Now that w... (Below threshold)
Jo:

yo-mama,

Now that was funny! :)

Speaking of North Korea,... (Below threshold)

Speaking of North Korea, don't you mean the Korean War, not WWII? C'mon man ... I'm easily confused enough as it is.

My bad. Korean War of course.

I'd read elsewhere that he was in charge of the forces who raided a base in Iraq last month using US Army uniforms and vehicles, and had been hunted ever since.

If it was the Iranians who conducted this attack then it demonstrates the kind of operations they are capable of inside Iraq. Given that the country is crawling with Iranian agents, we have to ask ourselves what kind of havoc they could wreak if we went to war with Iran. Based on the performance of the Hezbollah/Iranian forces in Lebanon last year I would say quite a lot.

We've got our hands full with Al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgency as it is. Just imagine how much trouble we would be in if all of Iraq was like Anbar province.

The bottom line is we don't have the number of troops in theater we would need to clash with the Iranians right now so it's not a realistic option.

Is Iran a threat to the Mid... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Is Iran a threat to the Middle East?..ah of course...as a result is Iran a threat to the U.S.?
...probably...why does Halliburton support the terrorists?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7119752/

Please...someone here defen... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Please...someone here defend Halliburton using an off-shore shell..to say it is ok for them to receive revenue based on them HELPING Iran with their oil production....Kim...Jay..Lorie..Scrap?
Y'all have any problem with this...????

Posted by: nogo posta... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by: nogo posta

Hit piece.

Expand your question as to whether or not General Electric is helping terrorists, as well.

Did you read the whole thing? HB and GE are both pulling out.

It doesn't good, at all, granted.

np, do you know that George... (Below threshold)
kim:

np, do you know that George Soros just put 2% of his fortune into Halliburton stock?
====================

Posta...so you agree..if mi... (Below threshold)
nogo posal:

Posta...so you agree..if mistakes were made pulling out..is the appropriate thing to do? ...by the way...HB and GE have yet to demonstrate that they have no ties/profit related to the economy of Iran...
Where is the freakin outrage? If they left today...they still did it...
.....tell me one moonbat/commie/Liberal Company that is presently involved in supporting the economy of Iran? I love the smell of irony in the morning...
(by the way..in trust Cheney still gets money from HB)

So your point is Soros just... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

So your point is Soros just plunked down a large chunk of money in a company that is enabling our enemy? I agree...yep Soros is a hypocrite to lay claim to the views he has espoused and then invest in a company that helps Iran get stronger...
...ah...any veiws on the HB?

nobrains postal you are so ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

nobrains postal you are so hilarious. How do you do it. Every post. Man you are good.

They're just there to steal... (Below threshold)
Tim:

They're just there to steal Iran's oil. No biggie.

This is treason! An illega... (Below threshold)
BarneyRubble2525:

This is treason! An illegal rendition of a foreign national by US agents.

I'm calling Ramsey Clark and Bam Bam now!

Harrrumph!

My latest info, where else ... (Below threshold)
kim:

My latest info, where else but JOM, said he planned it, asked permission in Syria to visit Turkey to see an arms dealer and defected. Apparently he has papers, much knowledge and understanding of high level thinking. Ahmadinejad is toast, now. The mullahs are entering the 21st Century without him.
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