Iranian Diplomat Alleges Torture by Americans

Jalal Sharafi, an Iranian diplomat, has alleged that he has been held by the CIA and been tortured for the past two months.

An Iranian diplomat freed two months after being abducted in Iraq accused the CIA of torturing him during his detention, state television reported Saturday. The United States immediately denied any involvement in the Iranian’s disappearance or release.

Jalal Sharafi, who was freed on Tuesday, said the CIA questioned him about Iran’s relations with Iraq and assistance to various Iraqi groups, according to state television.

“Once they heard my response that Iran merely has official relations with the Iraqi government and officials, they intensified tortures and tortured me through different methods days and nights,” he said.


U.S. authorities denied any role in his disappearance.

“As we have said repeatedly, we were not involved in the abduction, detention or release of this individual,” Lou Fintor, the U.S. Embassy spokesman in Baghdad, said Saturday.

A U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the CIA vehemently denies any role in the capture or release of Sharafi. The official dismissed any claims of torture, saying “the CIA does not conduct or condone torture.”

At this point, there isn’t truly much evidence to indicate that this person was even held by the CIA, much less the subject of torture. What is damning about this, though, is that the past actions of this Administration give this claim a much greater prima facie credibility than it would have had in the past.

(link via Andrew Sullivan, who is less skeptical than I am about this claim)

FILED UNDER: Asia, National Security, Terrorism, World Politics, , , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. LaurenceB says:

    Yup. If someone had alleged this kind of thing several years ago the whole world would have dismissed it without giving it a second thought. Not now.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Well, the Bush admin has gleefully added torture to their toolbox, leaving us wide open to charges like this being credible. But I guess if we just keep repeating that we are “the good guys” we can somehow alter reality so that it is so…

  3. Steph says:

    Anyone that believes the Iranian move to Iran since you are on their side.