Iranian diplomats expelled from Bosnia over spying allegations

Bosnia inside the former YugoslaviaBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
In a move described as extremely rare, authorities in Bosnia have expelled two diplomats from Bosnian ally Iran over allegations that they are intelligence officers. However, the expulsion process took a while, which arguably reveals the complicated relationship between the two predominantly Muslim nations. The two diplomats were initially declared personae non grata in late April, when the Bosnian government ordered that they leave the country by April 30. According to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministry of Security, the two envoys, Jadidi Sohrab and Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, third and second secretaries respectively at the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sarajevo, had engaged in activities that were “in violation of their diplomatic protocol”. Word has it that the Bosnian order was issued shortly after Israeli intelligence informed the Bosnians that the two Iranian diplomats were in fact employees of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MISIRI). The Israelis also said that one of the two men had been spotted in India, Georgia and Thailand, all of which were sites of a simultaneous bombing campaign in February of 2012 against Israeli interests —though there is no public evidence that he had an active role in the attacks. On May 9, however, Bosnian media reported that the two Iranian diplomats were still in Sarajevo, more than a week since the expiration of the deadline they had been given to leave the country. Why the delay? According to Dr. John Schindler, Iran watcher and professor of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College, the move to expel the two Iranians had been “stymied by the establishment” in Bosnia, which remains decidedly pro-Iranian. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #0105

  • Trial of Serb former intelligence chiefs opens today. The trial of Jovica Stanišić, Director of Serbia’s State Security Service from 1990 until 1998, and Stojan Župljanin, commander of the Bosnian Serb police during the Bosnian war, opens today at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in The Hague. As intelNews has reported before, at least two eponymous CIA agents have admitted that Stanišić was a CIA collaborator from 1991 until 1998.
  • Lithuanian Prime Minister was KGB agent, says board. A Lithuanian commission tasked with uncovering pro-Moscow informants and intelligence agents during the country’s communist period, has concluded that Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Lithuania’s first Prime Minister after the country’s 1990 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, secretly collaborated with the Soviet KGB.
  • Congo says it won’t execute Norwegian alleged spies. Norway’s foreign minister says he has been assured that the two Norwegians who were sentenced to death by a Congolese military tribunal last week on spying charges will not be executed.

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News you may have missed #0081

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Former UN prosecutor says CIA prevented Serb war criminals’ arrest

Carla Del Ponte

Carla Del Ponte

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Observers of the most recent Balkan Wars in the former Yugoslavia will remember Carla Del Ponte, who was the United Nations’ Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ms. Del Ponte, who is now Switzerland’s Ambassador to Argentina, has always regretted the UN’s failure to arrest during her ICTY tenure wanted Serb war criminals Radovan Karadzic (who was eventually captured in 2008 ) and General Ratko Mladic. She relays these regrets in her new book, Madame Prosecutor, which was published on January 20 by Other Press. Interestingly, the book has been essentially ignored by the mainstream Western media. A single review was published on January 22 in The Economist. Amazingly, the British journal, which is known for its attention to detail, omitted one stunning revelation in Ms. Del Ponte’s book. Namely that, during her ICTY tenure, the UN’s hunt for Karadzic and Mladic was actually obstructed by the CIA and by its then Director George Tenet. Read more of this post