Senior US Official Confirms Defecting Iranian General Asgari Cooperating with Western Intelligence Agencies

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The Washington Post‘s Dafna Linzer gets senior U.S. official to confirm that General Asgari left Iran voluntarily and is “cooperating” with Western intelligence agencies.
This will give some new grist for John LeCarre’s mill:

A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran’s ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.
Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari’s whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence.
Asgari served in the Iranian government until early 2005 under then-President Mohammad Khatami. Asgari’s background suggests that he would have deep knowledge of Iran’s national security infrastructure, conventional weapons arsenal and ties to Hezbollah in south Lebanon. Iranian officials said he was not involved in the country’s nuclear program, and the senior U.S. official said Asgari is not being questioned about it.
Former officers with Israel’s Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Asgari had been instrumental in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, around the time of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

This is important and will merit watching further.
For those of you in the intelligence community debriefing Asgari — don’t be sensationalizing material he gives you — and quadruple source everything. . .
— Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “Senior US Official Confirms Defecting Iranian General Asgari Cooperating with Western Intelligence Agencies

  1. Sex news blog says:

    all news about s@x are here 🙂

    Reply

  2. Masood Raji says:

    One stone for hunting two birds:
    Carmen’s March 30 comment seems plausible. IRI can use the 15 UK sailors for trading with General Asghari and the Operatives in Erbil thatwere aught by US forces.

    Reply

  3. Carmen says:

    Asgari knows very sensitive information on Iran’s nuclear status and plans. That’s why I think Iran kidnapped the 15 Brits. Iran wants to make a trade.

    Reply

  4. New York Punk says:

    The thing is most mainstream media ignored it. Or buried it, while it was the first page headline in The Times of London. It’s almost like the US Mainstream media don’t want to hear/acknowledge/report any positive news. This is immature – his deflection might not have nothing to do with the success of this administration and more to do with his own personal ambitions and safety for his family.
    Anyways, I’m glad Guardian picked you up on that.
    Good job Steve!

    Reply

  5. alex says:

    american credidibilty means that this another load of warmongering provocative hogwash. why can’t the yanks
    understand that they are not welcome ANYWHERE….
    just go home and stay put and no one will shoot you or bomb you
    piss off and go home

    Reply

  6. cockroach says:

    This whole thing really does stink, mostly because of its timing. This guy has been in the revelotuinary guards since the beginning of the 80s (about 25 years now) and he has benefitted and pamperred by the Iranian regime and his hands are soaked in the blood of the innocent people for just as long. Why now? Why now that he is almost retired and does not have to commit any crime to prove himself to the government of iran, does he come forward?
    If he didn’t like living in Iran, all he had to do was to LEGALLY come out of Iran with his family and live wherever he likes until he dies. Why would he defect and put himself and his family in the precarious and uncertain situation that he is in now?
    As many have said here…this whole thing stinks and does not make sense.

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “Wonder if Iran-Contra has any meaning for him ?”
    He was a player during Iran-Contra. Google him, seems he was our man on the recieving end of the weapons deals. This whole thing stinks.

    Reply

  8. Dirk says:

    Sadly predictable will be the guest op-eds by our “representatives” intoning the need to bomb Iran based on their exposure to “intelligence” that we are not purview to in about 3 to 6 months from now.

    Reply

  9. Jacob Matthan says:

    Obviously this is the guy that is going to confirm the “Uranium from DR Congo” fable!
    Wonder which Ambassador’s wife they are now looking to out this time around?
    You Yanks are so so sweet! :.)

    Reply

  10. Charles says:

    Here’s some speculation for you:
    Suppose Asgari is a US intelligence asset, a member of Plame’s counterproliferation network whose cover was blown as the Iranians rolled it up.
    I think the idea of Asgari just defecting after he had seen what the US did to Iraq is completely ridiculous. But an intelligence asset who suddenly found it uncomfortable… that’s not out of the question.

    Reply

  11. Chesire11 says:

    By cooperating, do they mean that he is telling them everything he knows or everything he thinks they want to hear? If his information doesn’t mesh with Cheney’s delusions, how long will it take for him to be dismissed as an Iranian decoy?

    Reply

  12. daCascadian says:

    Wonder if Iran-Contra has any meaning for him ?
    Will he become an employee of Carlyle Group this year or will they wait until Little Bush leaves the Presidency so both can be hired at the same time ?
    There is some very deep bulls*it behind all this puppet dancing.
    “As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

    Reply

  13. MP says:

    “Frankly, I wouldn’t care if we *did* kidnap him. I just wish I — and the rest of the world — could put any faith at all in what will be reported as his revelations.”
    Yes, unfortunately, that IS the point, isn’t it?

    Reply

  14. urbino says:

    Frankly, I wouldn’t care if we *did* kidnap him. I just wish I — and the rest of the world — could put any faith at all in what will be reported as his revelations.

    Reply

  15. Mike says:

    The Iranians certainly view this as a psy-op campaign. Who is the “Senior American official”? Remember the last one, he was Cheney? He was our “senior American official” who told us incredible things and a massive, court-verified liar.
    So this new “senior American official” can save his likely tainted or made-up claims and go do something else, unless he is willing to both reveal his name, and also allow for this Iranian general to make a public, uncoerced statement confirming this information. Otherwise, it’s all bunk, like Iraq.
    There is a very good chance this is just Israeli and American pressure on Iran to change their position before the Iraq summit and before the UNSC meets again.

    Reply

  16. Marcia says:

    The general public will certainly have nothing other than the word of the administration on “information obtained” and that word no longer has much weight.
    With all the lies and disinformation concerning the Iraq invasion this seems to be extremely convenient regarding Iran.
    I’ll take everything with a grain of salt, perhaps several grains.

    Reply

  17. Dan Kervick says:

    “For those of you in the intelligence community debriefing Asgari — don’t be sensationalizing material he gives you — and quadruple source everything. . .”
    And if you do learn anything of actual value, would you mind placing it in an envelope and sending it to Steve, Seymour Hirsch and several other reporters instead of to your lying bosses?

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    The story is still a bit allusive on the question of voluntariness. The chief US source doesn’t say Asgari left voluntarily. It says he “left his country” and is now “willingly cooperating.”
    Lower in the story, another US anonymous official is said to have denied the Ha’aretz kidnapping report and “suggested” that the disapearance was voluntary and orchestrated by the Israelis.
    There are a lot of ways in which a person could fall into the hands of Western intelligence without either defecting or being kidnapped – including various kinds of blackmail and other threats.

    Reply

  19. Steve Clemons says:

    Dear IC:
    Lol. Good to know that you are checking in. . .
    best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  20. Intelligence Community says:

    “For those of you in the intelligence community debriefing Asgari — don’t be sensationalizing material he gives you — and quadruple source everything. . .”
    Thanks for the advice, Steve. We hadn’t thought of that.

    Reply

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