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Iran: this could get very interesting
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Seems a very high ranking but retired general from Iran may have defected to the west - specifically the US:
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.
Obviously any defector's first concern is going to be his family. Their concurrent disappearance with his being missing suggests defection, not kidnapping (we wouldn't care what happened to his family if we were kidnapping him). It also suggests a clandestine operation that's been ongoing for quite some time. Getting his family to Turkey without arousing suspicion most likely took some time and timing.

Of course the Iranians are claiming it is a kidnapping (surprise!). Here comes the payoff though:
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.

[...]

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.
Oh baby, oh baby ... that upcoming meeting in Iraq with Syria and Iran is looking like it will be more fun than I originally anticipated.
 
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What we are trying to do in this instance can best be summed up by the axiom:
In War, owing to the many and powerful impressions to which the mind is exposed, and in the uncertainty of all knowledge and of all science, more things occur to distract a man from the road he has entered upon, to make him doubt himself and others, than in any other human activity. Carl von Clausewitz This has been America’s problem exemplified by opposition to the war, and now it will be the problem of our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
If this is a genuine story, all I have to say is "Jackpot". That, and I hope that Mr. Asghari, like the Soviet bloc and occasional North Korean defectors before him, really does find that this is a better place for him and his family.
 
Written By: Lysenko
URL: http://
Allah over at HotAir has a story saying the General is in Northern Europe, being questioned by all sorts of people in West. Good news, if true.
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
You mean kidnapped by the Forces of Neo-Fascist Repression and their Jack-Booted Rethuglican Minions, their greedy hooligan fingers reaching out to encompass ever more of Mother Gaia’s shrinking resources! I shall broadcast good thoughts for this poor man in his nighted dungeon....I’d pray for him, but Religion IS the Opiate of the Masses.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Funny thing...the English-translation version of the Asharq Alawsat (which is London-published and 75% owned by Saudi royals) has no mention of the story cited in The Australian.

So why is a prominent Israeli historian writing for Murdoch’s aussie paper instead of his Jerusalem Post citing a story that few else can check, if it exists at all?

Regards, C
 
Written By: Cernig
URL: http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com/
Presuming he did defect and is talking, it doesn’t matter what he says.

If he says nothing is going on, guys like me will scream that he was sent by the Mad Mullahs to screw with us.

If he says something is going on, Bush critics will scream that he’s lying and is part of Bush’s scheme to push us into another war.

And either way, Bush will do nothing about Iran’s pursuit of nukes...because he doesn’t and won’t know what to think, he doesn’t and won’t know who to believe... and he’s so scared of being wrong again that he’s paralyzed himself into inaction.... just like the golfer who is so scared of screwing up that he can’t swing... except here, the stakes here are oh so much higher.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Funny thing...the English-translation version of the Asharq Alawsat (which is London-published and 75% owned by Saudi royals) has no mention of the story cited in The Australian.
And that’s "funny" in what way? That, like broadcasts, english and arabic versions often differ? "Funny" in that way?
So why is a prominent Israeli historian writing for Murdoch’s aussie paper instead of his Jerusalem Post citing a story that few else can check, if it exists at all?
Here’s a wild guess ... because it’s news?

Check it out yourself and note this particular Reuters piece is from Reuters yesterday.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
and he’s so scared of being wrong again that he’s paralyzed himself into inaction.... just like the golfer who is so scared of screwing up that he can’t swing... except here, the stakes here are oh so much higher.
I agree totally he’s so paralyzed that there is no progress even in Iraq...Oh WAIT.....mayhap you’re NOT right....sorry.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You’re missing my point, McQ. My fault, and sorry.

I’m cynical about the defection story and the provenance of it’s getting to the public, not the fact that the general is missing.

To me, the chain looks a lot like an orchestrated Israeli intelligence attempt to distract from the most likely possibility, a Mossad kidnapping, without using an Israeli or US newspaper as primary or even secondary source. It’s not like similiar things haven’t been done before using the Daily Telegraph and the Australian.

Anyway, the story IS in Arabic on the Asharq Alawsat website if anyone speaks it. I called their offices and confirmed it. No decision yet, according to them, on whether it will make it to the English pages so we can see the original article instead of interpreting second and thirdhand.

Regards, C
 
Written By: Cernig
URL: http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com/
To me, the chain looks a lot like an orchestrated Israeli intelligence attempt to distract from the most likely possibility, a Mossad kidnapping, without using an Israeli or US newspaper as primary or even secondary source. It’s not like similiar things haven’t been done before using the Daily Telegraph and the Australian.
There is a report of Mossad being responsible, but then I’d be surprised if there wasn’t one quite honestly. What hasn’t been blamed on the Mossad?

The family, as far as I’m concerned, is the key. It if were a kidnapping, no one cares what happens to the family.

Now obviously the point could be they too were kidnapped for leverage however the most likely scenario is they were spirited away when he defected.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Or maybe the General was "on the take" selling his governments weapons to line his own pockets and knew the Iranian authorities were catching up, so the first time he got near the West he and his family headed for the hills.

It’s another theory, fits all the facts and is even simpler, but isn’t being discussed.

Regards, C
 
Written By: Cernig
URL: http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com/
Joe: my mistake, I should have said he paralyzed himself into inaction everywhere but Iraq.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
Or maybe the General was "on the take" selling his governments weapons to line his own pockets and knew the Iranian authorities were catching up, so the first time he got near the West he and his family headed for the hills.
Could be ... but it would still be a defection.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Presuming he did defect and is talking, it doesn’t matter what he says.

If he says nothing is going on, guys like me will scream that he was sent by the Mad Mullahs to screw with us.

If he says something is going on, Bush critics will scream that he’s lying and is part of Bush’s scheme to push us into another war.
Who cares people say? The US government will still have a more accurate idea of what the hell is going on in Iran, and I’m sorry, but I don’t see how that can’t be a bad thing. It matters very much what he says.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Ugh, I meant to say that I don’t see how the US government having a more accurate idea of what is really happening in Iran CAN be a bad thing. IOW, it’s all good. IMHO. Sorry I’m in a hurry, my PowerBook battery is about to die...

Duh,
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
I’m afraid Steve is right about Bush even if the phrase is redundant: “he’s paralyzed himself into inaction.”
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/

 
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