Interview with alleged CIA spy in Iran

A Time to Betray

A Time to Betray

US government-owned Radio Liberty has aired an interview with an Iranian defector who claims to have worked as a CIA agent in the 1980s and early 1990s. The defector, who goes by the pseudonym Reza Kahlili (codename ‘Wally’), has authored what appears to be a CIA-sanctioned book, entitled A Time to Betray, in which he says he was a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC is a sizable branch of the Iranian military that is ideologically committed to the defense of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Kahlili, who now lives in California, says he concluded his studies in the US and returned to Iran shortly after the Revolution. But he quickly became disillusioned with the Islamic regime, and in 1981 met with the CIA in the United States and offered them his services. It appears that the CIA asked him to return to his duties at the IRGC and become a defector-in-place, thus providing the Agency with information on the IRGC’s activities. This he did, while allegedly working in the IRGC’s “computer department”, until sometime in the early 1990s, when he physically defected to the United States. In his new book, which he says “was submitted to a US government [intelligence] body” for authorization, he claims –among other things– that former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani personally ordered the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. In August of 2009, Kahlili authored an op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor, in which he argued for a more hardline US stance on Iran.

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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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