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.