News you may have missed #470

  • Blackwater still working for US despite denials. Reports that Blackwater is out of the US government’s private-security game appear to have been greatly exaggerated. A consigliore to the company’s new owners has said the firm still holds security contracts with the US State Department, and intends to seek more.
  • CIA gets spooky with new radio commercials. The CIA’s National Clandestine Service is continuing its recruitment drive with new radio commercials, complete with a spooky soundtrack of sawing violins and rising timpani –and something about “no one will ever know what you do”.
  • Iranian shah’s son found dead in Boston. Alireza Pahlavi, the youngest son of the late shah of Iran, has been found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Boston’s South End. In June 2001, Alireza’s sister Leila was found dead in a London hotel room from an overdose of barbiturates. The late siblings’ father was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution. He died in Egypt in 1980.
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Secret UK envoy convinced Iran Shah to stay away in 1979

Sir Denis Wright

Sir Denis Wright

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The British government sent a former diplomat, disguised as an old friend of the Iranian Shah, to convince the deposed monarch to stay away from the UK, after he was forced to abandon Iran in 1979. The information has been made available in a series of official government documents recently declassified by Britain’s Foreign Office. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the US-backed Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, abandoned his throne and ended up in the Bahamas, a former British colony which had gained its independence in 1973. But Britain’s Labour government feared that the deposed monarch aimed to live in England, something that Prime Minister James Callaghan considered a potentially damaging decision by “an immensely controversial figure in Iran”. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

W. German cop behind fatal 1967 shooting was a spy, documents show

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On June 2, 1967, West German police opened fire on leftist students demonstrating against a visit to Berlin by the Shah of Iran. One of the shots fired by the police killed student protester Benno Ohnesorg. His killing was dubbed in Germany “the shot that changed the republic”. It had a major role in radicalizing the West German student movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s and directly sparked the creation of the militant student organization Red Army Faction –also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group. But a group of researchers working at Germany’s Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the German Democratic Republic (BStU), led by archivist Marianne Birthler, now claim they have discovered that the West German police officer who fired the shot that killed Ohnesorg was actually an East German spy. Read more of this post

Analysis: Iranian Terrorist Group Enjoys US, EU Protection

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), also known as the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, is one of several armed groups deemed terrorist by Washington and the European Union (EU). On January 26, however, the EU decided to remove MEK from its official list of terrorist organizations, a move that some observers believe was secretly supported by the US. This is because, despite MEK’s terrorist designation, Washington has routinely collaborated with it since 2003, prompted by the group’s fierce opposition to the regime in Tehran. In 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, American forces entered Camp Ashraf, MEK’s main military base in Iraq, to find “armored personnel carriers, artillery, anti-aircraft guns and vehicles […] along with more than 2,000 well-maintained tanks”. However, even though the group if officially classified by the US as terrorist, US troops were ordered by the Pentagon to give military protection to MEK armed groups in Iraq. Since then, Western correspondents in Iraq have frequently reported that US military personnel “regularly escort MEK supply runs between Baghdad and […] Camp Ashraf”. Read article →