Iranian Revolutionary Guard official missing since 2007 defected to US, report says

Seventeen years after Ali-Reza Asgari vanished in Turkey, opposition channel Iran International reports he's now living in US under CIA witness protection program

Ali-Reza Asgari, a former senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps official who disappeared in 2007, has resurfaced in the United States under an assumed identity, London-based opposition channel Iran International reported Wednesday, citing three U.S. intelligence sources and a senior European diplomatic source.
Asgari, who also served as deputy defense minister and was responsible for Hezbollah's military buildup, reportedly resides in the U.S. as part of the CIA's witness protection program. The sources confirmed that Asgari changed his state of residence in the U.S. several times over the past 17 years.
1 View gallery
עלי רזא עסגרי
עלי רזא עסגרי
Ali-Reza Asgari
Asgari was recruited by U.S. intelligence in Thailand in 2005 and played a central role in steering the U.S. away from plans to attack Iran over its nuclear program in 2007. He identified Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as the key figure leading the mullah regime's military and nuclear program. Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in 2020.
Asgari disappeared in Turkey in early 2007. Since then, various reports about his fate have circulated in the media, including claims that he defected or was abducted by Western spy agencies. The Iranian regime threatened to retaliate for his disappearance and abduct Americans and Israelis on European soil.
In March 2007, a senior U.S. official told the Washington Post that Israel was behind Asgari's defection to the West. Official sources in Jerusalem denied Israel's involvement in the disappearance of the Iranian official. Senior officials in then-prime minister Ehud Olmert's office clarified that they "learned about the issue through the media."
Over the years, Asgari's family dismissed reports suggesting he defected to the West, claiming instead that he was abducted by foreign agents. In 2007, the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Asgari was residing in a northern European country, where Americans and other Western intelligence operatives interrogated him.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.