Monday, March 05, 2007

The case of the Vanishing Iranian General....

This is one of those little reported, under the wire stories that sheds a great deal of light on the undercover war between Iran and the US.

Iran’s deputy defense minister for eight years up until 2005, and a prominent Revolutionary Guards General, Ali Reza Asquari, has disappeared under highly mysterious circumstances in Istanbul, Turkey on February 7th.

General Asquari was reportedly the commanding officer in charge of Iranian undercover operations in central Iraq. What's more, he was either took part in the planning or actually participated in the kidnapping of five American officers from the US-Iraqi command center in Karbala south of Baghdad January 20th. Those officers, as I related here were snatched under highly suspicious circumstances and then shot execution style outside of Karbala.

According to my sources, the kidnapping was done by a special team of Iranian intelligence officers who were given a mission to kidnap US soldiers and hold them as hostages for bargaining. The plan was to snatch a group of US soldiers and hold them hostage against the release of the 8 Revolutionary Guards commandos taken in a raid in Irbril, Iraq who are now in in American custody. However, the Iranians were unable to make a clean get away with the Americans to Iran and murdered them as US forces moved in, after which the Iranians made their escape.

The US obviously decided to hush this up for political reasons...they obviously wanted to avoid accusations of `drumming up war with Iran' or `cooking intelligence' this time around and might have chosen to retaliate in a low profile,clandestine manner.

General Asquari, who as I said was in command of this mission came to Turkey from Damascus and was booked into the Istanbul Ceylan Hotel, a fairly posh place that one would expect a high ranking Iranian officer to stay at.
The Iranian general arrived at Ataturk international airport on his scheduled flight from Damascus, but he never went to his hotel. Instead, he booked himself into the much cheaper and less high profile Hotel Ghilan. He left his luggage in the room, walked out of the hotel – and vanished.

Who took him, and why? Was it the US, retaliating for what happened in Karbala?

Iran obviously thinks so. Their application to Interpol put this down as a kidnapping rather than a defection, so it's fairly obvious that Iran sees the hand of US undercover agencies or contractees as part of an American undercover war against Iranian officers running Iran’s clandestine operations in Iraq.

Iran's Karbala operation did not achieve what it was meant to achieve, since the Americans were killed rather than taken hostage. But they will undoubtedly try again. The US simply has too many high ranking Iranians in custody, and they know far too much.

Among them is the third top man of the Revolutionary Guards al Quds division, Col. Fars Hassami, as well as Mohammad Jaafari Sahra-Rudi, who was the boss of Iran’s terrorist operations in large parts of Iraq. His long record includes leading the Iranian death squad which assassinated Iran’s Kurdish Democratic Party leader Dr. Abdol-Rahman Qasemlou in Vienna in 1989.

Qasemlou may very well have been fingered by the Kurds and a major motivation for the US raid on that Iranian `liason office' in Ibril.

In spite of massive pressure by the Maliki government, the Iranians caught in that raid still remain under US lock and key.

It remains to be seen what happened to General Asquari, or what steps Iran will take to try and deal for the high ranking officers we have in custody.

This one is by no means over.


Anonymous said...

we should dispatch joe wilson to istanbul immediately, if not sooner.

Unknown said...

Off topic

FF, I didn't have your email address handy but, given your posts on the excavations at the Temple Mount, I thought you might be interested in this

which seems to be making its way around the English language Islamosphere.


Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks Dave, I saw it....
Just another example of Muslim hypocrisy, expecting tolerance and respect while giving neither.

Unknown said...

Reports are now surfacing that the general has defected. See over at my place.

Freedom Fighter said...

Yeah, I saw it..could be good news!