AN Iranian general who defected to the West last month had been spying on Iran since 2003 when he was recruited on an overseas business trip, according to Iranian sources.
This weekend Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, 63, the former deputy defence minister, is understood to be undergoing debriefing at a Nato base in Germany after he escaped from Iran, followed by his family.
A daring getaway via Damascus was organised by western intelligence agencies after it became clear that his cover was about to be blown. Iran’s notorious secret service, the Vavak, is believed to have suspected that he was a high-level mole…
Asgari is said to have carried with him documents disclosing Iran’s links to terrorists in the Middle East. It is not thought that he had details of the country’s nuclear programme.
An Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, claimed this weekend that Mossad, Israel’s external security service, had orchestrated his defection.
Ed thinks this might especially help with code-breaking. There’s something I don’t get, though: if this guy’s been on our side for years and if his main value as an intel asset is his encyclopedic knowledge of Hezbollah’s operations, why didn’t Israel have an easier time in Lebanon this summer? Granted, rarely will a single informant determine the outcome of a war, but I saw a quote from one Israeli analyst the other day referring to Asgari as the de facto “founder” of Hezbollah. Hard to believe the IDF armed with that kind of information advantage couldn’t have broken the organization.
Update: Iranian expat Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi is following Turkish media on this and tells Gateway Pundit Asgari might have info on the Hezbollah bombing in Argentina in 1994. That could be hugely embarrassing given whom Argentina has issued an arrest warrant for — Akbar Hasehmi Rafsanjani, the former president and likely future supreme leader of Iran.