Breaking news: CIA has no clue about what’s going on in Iran

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Amidst all the furor about CIA meddling in the Iranian anti-government demonstrations, an informed voice of reasoning comes from intelligence veteran and current GQ intelligence and security correspondent Jeff Stein. Stein, who does not rule out attempts by the CIA to promote the demonstrators’ agenda in Tehran, wisely cautions pundits that Iran is currently “nearly impervious to Western intelligence –and Israeli intelligence, too”. Consequently, despite allegations to the contrary, “there can be little confidence that [anyone at the CIA] really knows what’s going on in Iran”, says Stein. The former US Army Intelligence officer provides a brief account of the CIA’s monumental intelligence failures in the Middle East, beginning with the agency’s shock and surprise at the 1979 ousting of Iran’s US-installed Shah; its failure (along with Israeli intelligence) to warn about the joint 1973 Egypt-Syrian attack on Israel; and its inability to generate accurate intelligence on Hezbollah, Syrian and Iranian plans during the 2006 Lebanon War. Not to mention its abysmal intelligence record on Iraq after 9/11. In short, there can be no doubt that the CIA is actively using some of its advanced “technical wizardry” in Iran today, and may even have one or two good human intelligence operatives on the ground. But, for the most part, the belief that the CIA is in any way instrumental in the disturbances in Iran is highly overrating the Agency’s recent known record in the country and in the Middle East as a whole.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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