Iranian General Re-Appears

This has got to have some folks in Iran nervous:

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.

I don’t have a great deal to add to the comments made in the Pajamas Media report on this story other than to note that revelations about nuclear weapons development aren’t all that Tehran has to worry about coming to light. Other potential considerations include possible disclosure of details of the relationship between the Iranian military and Iraqi insurgents or Hezbollah, missile development, and information on agents in other countries (notably ours).

If true, this could change the course of our dealings with Iran. We may have a lot to talk about.

Cross-posted to The Glittering Eye.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. legion says:

    If true, this could change the course of our dealings with Iran. We may have a lot to talk about.

    Paging Ahmad Chalabi, please pick up the white courtesy phone….

  2. I blame Bush.

  3. brainy435 says:

    “If true, this could change the course of our dealings with Iran. We may have a lot to talk about.”

    Maybe it already has. This could be why the administration reversed course about meeting with Iraq and Syria over Iraq. Maybe we have new topics for discussion, now.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    Paging Ahmad Chalabi, please pick up the white courtesy phone….

    Precisely. Whether the information that comes out in the next few months is accurate or not (and I’d guess vastly inflated hyperbole would be the most accurate description if it is anything like the “proof” of Iranians arming Iraqi insurgents story which turned out to be nothing of the sort) the administration has exactly zero credibility. They’ve either lied or been idiots at every turn, why trust them to have finally gotten their act together now?

  5. Jim Henley says:

    If it’s a PJM story, shouldn’t we conclude that Herr General was just incredibly distraught over the death of Ayatollah Khamenei?

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Idiots on the left are going to skepticize themselves right into conversion to Islam. Some bozo here thinks there is no proof of Iran arming the Iraqis. That surely explains the .50 cal. Sniper rifles sold to Iran matching the serial numbers of those recovered in Iraq. Sometimes when you hear someone cry “wolf”, a large carnivore is afoot. Looking for something to eat.

  7. John Gillnitz says:

    This traces back to an anonymous source quoted in a foreign language paper published in London. Are those sources high-profile Iranians or British?

  8. graywolf says:

    Now if we only had someone competent to debrief him and not get him killed.

    That clown show of the CIA can’t find its own ass in a well-lighted room.

  9. bossass says:

    “Iranian General Re-Appears”
    asshole using fake headlines.

  10. MyPetGloat says:

    Curveball 2 – Electric Bugaloo

  11. tommo says:

    You poor pathetic creature, pinning your hopes on such a thin reed. Of course The Current Occupant & Cronies will f*ck it up. They have done NOTHING but damage to your beloved nation over the past six years. Not one thing they have done has benefited our nation as a whole. Not One Thing. Why do you think they will suddenly become competent now? Because The Shrub has read a part of a book about Churchill?

    You poor fool.

  12. legaleagle says:

    If true, this could change the course of our dealings with Iran. We may have a lot to talk about.

    Yes, of course we do! Forget about the fact that, according to every righwing nuthouse on the blogosphere, we’ve already been in a state of war with Iran for the nearly 30 years since the hostage crisis. If this is the figleaf needed to reconcile yourselves to the fact that the Imbecile-in-Chief has been neutered, and can’t launch an attack on Iran without explicit Congressional approval, then, hey, knock yourselves out! I hope it makes you feel better.

  13. Frederick says:

    Anybody looking to buy a bridge in Al Anbar?

  14. Greg says:

    You know what I’m in the mood for? Wild speculation from unnamed sources. A quick search of major news organizations reveals that none of them are carrying this story (not even Faux News), so what’s the deal here? You’re absolutely right that if this is true, it might change things, but right now the story is too flimsy for even Bush and co to trumpet.

    Oh well. Keep throwing up rumors. Eventually one is bound to stick (see WMD’s).