Iran accuses Israel of kidnapping former Deputy Defense Minster

Ali-Reza AsgariBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister has accused Israel of kidnapping his predecessor in 2006, while he was on an official visit trip to Turkey. Brigadier General Ali-Reza Asgari, who once commanded Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, disappeared on December 9, 2006, from his hotel room in Istanbul. His fate remains unknown. But on Saturday, Brigadier General Hossein Daqiqi, who is currently Tehran’s second most senior military official, pointed the finger at Israel’s foremost covert-action agency, the Mossad. He was speaking to reporters in the Iranian capital during a public ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of Asgari’s disappearance. He told Iranian media that the government had “a lot of evidence proving that members of the Israeli intelligence service have kidnapped Asgari”. There are conflicting reports about Asgari’s whereabouts, but most observers seem to believe he is still alive. A year after his disappearance from Turkey, Hans Rühle, former Director of Policy Planning in the German Ministry of Defense, wrote in Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung that Asgari was in Western hands and that “information was obtained” from him. Israeli media have reported that the Iranian General is in the hands of the United States and that he is helping Washington crack the “most inner workings [of] Iranian nuclear development”. Danny Yatom, former director of the Mossad, told the London-based Times newspaper in 2007 that Israel had played no part in Asgari’s disappearance and that the Iranian General had willingly defected “to the West”, but that he didn’t know his exact whereabouts. Since then, other sources have echoed Yatom’s claim that Asgari defected willingly, including Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post and intelligence historian Gordon Thomas, in his 2009 book Secret Wars: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence (see intelNews book review). In 2009. Iran’s Alef newsmagazine said that the former defense official had been “abducted by [the] intelligence services of Germany and England [...] in cooperation with the Mossad” and was being held in an Israeli prison against his will. The Iranian newsmagazine based its claim on the reported result of a “two-year probe” into the affair carried out by the Iranian intelligence services. But General Daqiqi’s comments last weekend were the first time an Iranian official has publicly blamed Israel for Asgari’s disappearance. However, if the Iranian General defected willingly, he would be the most senior Iranian defector to the West and/or to Israel in modern times.

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6 Responses to Iran accuses Israel of kidnapping former Deputy Defense Minster

  1. GIANNOS says:

    another Umaru Dikko, check the diplomatic baggage

  2. mopsie cottontail says:

    what evidence do these ppl have that he defected willingly? i think it is a moral and practical obligation that, if a person defects, the country to which he defects should at least ATTEMPT to prove that he is there of his own will- without exposing his location which cd jeopardize his safety.

    if countries arent REQUIRED to show that a disappeared person is there willingly, there is nothing to stop any country from kidnapping people-or imprisoning-or torturing them, while claiming they defected of their own will.

    if no country is willing to show that he is acting of his own free will, i think it is reasonable to assume he was kidnapped.

    altho no country cd provide absolute proof that he is acting voluntarily, they cd at least show that he is alive and well- without risking his safety.

    since he is probably either in israel or the usa, these countries should show some morals and responsibility, and at least show that he is alive and well. whatever country has him is cowardly, deceitful, and lower than the mafia cuz, at least the mafia doesnt pretend to have any scruples.

  3. Pete says:

    I, of course, concur with Mr/Ms Mopsie Contontail’s concern for morality and obligation. It would be a better world if spies avoided deception and instead were compelled to practice full public disclosure at all times.

    As a proud supporter of rabbit rights and like-minded critters, I wish to also add that it is a strange regime indeed that holds public ceremonies to mark anniversaries of probable defectors.

    Iran must also be odd if its second most senior military is only a Brigadier General. In most armies a Brigadier General would command a Brigade which in NATO would be 3,200 to 5,500 troops. Either Tehran’s military has very few troops or its system is highly informal and personalized.

    Merry Christmas

    Pete

  4. mopsie cottontail says:

    is that you, peter cotton tail? my fellow rabbits thank you for your support. however, we critters never lobbied for anything near full disclosure or public ceremonies, merely some evidence that he is alive and operating under his own free will-nothing further. rumors of kidnapping, imprisonment, and interrogation do nothing to enhance your position or reputation, but it shames the enemy and makes excellent publicity for yourself when someone defects to your warren. it also encourages further defections.
    why would you assume that he is probably a defector? if a country is willing to assassinate civilians, we rabbits assume they are willing to abduct military personnel, especially when they travel into the warrens of friendly territory.
    may your holidays provide you with many carrots and leafy green stuff.
    mopsie
    PS-there is some justification for allowing rumors of an abduction to persist. it may provide some minimal protection for his family.

  5. AlbertE. says:

    My initial thought was this was an Israeli operation to get back Ron Arad. But no more info on that. A BG in an intelligence agency probably has a lot more rank, prestige and responsibility than a military commander of brigade of troops.

  6. Pete says:

    Hi mopsie

    I imagine one reason that there is ambiguity about Ali-Reza Asgari’s status is because he may have left extended family members, friends and allies in Iran who may potentially be pawns to blackmail Asgari. A fully voluntary Asgari might cause the Iranian regime to give them a hard time. Motives are often mixed and many. I think it likely that Israel (or whoever) would have been prepared to use (or used some) force once Asgari came under their power.

    AlbertE

    Yes thats true that an intelligence stream Brigadier General (BG) would have greater power and influence than a troop command BG.

    If he has spent time in the Revolutionary Guard Corps (a critic might call this “Iran’s SS”) positions – this would also have always placed him higher and more trusted than regular military.

    Furthermore Brigadier General Hossein Daqiqi position as Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister represents a promotion into higher policy making above the military.

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