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Friday, March 09, 2007

Ali Reza Asghari took papers with him from Iran

London-based Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat is reporting that former Iranian deputy defense minister Ali Reza Asghari took important papers with him when he left Iran last month. The paper is also confirming that he left Turkey using a passport with an assumed name in coordination with Western intelligence services (the quotes below are from Asharq's English edition):
According to a source who is a close friend of Asghari, the former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister has military and intelligence documents and maps about Iran’s military institution and others revealing relations between the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, al Mahdi army and the Badr organization (formerly Badr Brigade) which follows the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).


Earlier this week a source from the Iranian military, who was among the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Beirut since the late 1980s, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister, “is well” and that he is being well cared for in a northern European country where he meets for several hours a day with a group of military experts to oversee the completion of a number of controversial issues that the Revolutionary Guard has played a major role in; including the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut [October 1983] and the destruction of the American Embassy and the French camp in the early 1980’s, in addition to a number of security issues and terrorist operations that have targeted a number of countries in the region, and the elimination of various Iranian opposition leaders abroad.

The source also revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Asghari took over the IRGC leadership in Beirut after Ahmed Kanani (who later took control of the IRGC leadership in Tunis and was the former Iranian ambassador in Madagascar), and Hussein Mosleh before him, who is privy to many secrets after spending two years in Lebanon, as well as having visited Sudan, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The former deputy minister, Asghari, despite the delicacy of his responsibilities in the IRGC and the Iranian Ministry of Defense, has remained distanced away from the spotlight in accordance with his own personal wishes. He enjoyed huge prestige amongst his fellow comrades in the IRGC, which he had presided over. According to a prominent colonel, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, he had spent several months side-by-side with Asghari in the battlefields and he confirmed the latter’s courage and skills.

Regarding the circumstances of Asghari’s disappearance in Turkey and the allegations that he has sought refuge in the US, Asharq Al-Awsat has discovered that the former Iranian deputy minister of defense has gone to Damascus, to head a delegation of experts from the fields of military and defense with the purpose of holding talks with officials from the Syrian Defense ministry regarding the establishment of compounds for the production of military equipment in Syria. The visit to Istanbul was not for the officially stated reasons, rather the intention was to meet with a renowned European arms dealer. According to an Iranian diplomat in Istanbul, the arms dealer postponed his departure by a day following a phone call with Asghari.
And it seems that Asghari may know something about the nukes as well:
According to anonymous officials who spoke to the Turkish newspaper, ‘Millet’, the Turkish intelligence and police had discovered that Asghari was opposed to the Iranian government and that he holds information regarding its nuclear plan.
This is the kind of break the West has needed for a long time. Let's hope that no one blows this by refusing to take advantage of the opportunity presented.


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