Iran cries foul
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured third from left with a U.S. embassy staff member during the hostage crisis of 1979-81) is outraged by what he believes is a plot by Western intelligence services to kidnap key members of the Iranian military.
Uzi Mahnaimi writes in the Times of London:
According to Iranian sources, several officers have been abducted in the past three months and the United States has drawn up a list of other targets to be seized with the aim of destabilising Tehran’s military command.
In an article in Subhi Sadek, the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker, a writer believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warned that Iran would strike back.
“We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said. “Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”
One of the alleged victims however, appears to have defected of his own free will, while on a mission to Turkey, according to this account by Dafna Linzer in the Washington Post:
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.
Other missing Revolutionary Guard officials are said to include Colonel Amir Muhammed Shirazi and Brigadier General Muhammed Soltani. The common denominator of the disappearances is that the missing officers are members of the elite Quds Force, a group tasked with disrupting Western interests in the Middle East and elsewhere around the globe.
"One theory circulating in Israel," writes the Times, "is that a US task force known as the Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) is coordinating the campaign to take Revolutionary Guard commanders."
A January 2 story by Farah Stockman in the Boston Globe describes the genesis and structure of ISOG. According to the globe, the task force is made up of "five pillars" or working groups. The fourth of these is dedicated to "Iran's 'special relationships' with Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and terrorist organizations."
Assuming the U.S. is helping to coordinate the defections/ disappearances/ kidnappings (take your pick), it's a fair assumption this section of ISOG knows something about it.
Whatever's going on, President Ahmadinejad's outrage is risible.
Mr. Pot, please allow me to introduce you to Mr. Kettle.
Don't forget to sign the Free Bobby! petition.
Posted by Rodger on March 19, 2007 at 05:59 PM | Permalink
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