Hizbullah leader Nasrallh. Suitcases with money twice a month
Photo: AFP

Iran to strike in Gulf, former diplomat says

Tehran's former consul-general in Dubai tells Sunday Telegraph Islamic republic has been training secret networks of agents across Gulf states to attack US, European interests in event of military strike against its nuclear program

Iran has been training secret networks of agents across the Gulf states to attack Western interests and incite civil unrest in the event of a military strike against its nuclear program, a former Iranian diplomat told The Sunday Telegraph.


According to Adel Assadinia, a former career diplomat who was Iran's consul-general in Dubai and an adviser to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, spies working as teachers, doctors and nurses at Iranian-owned schools and hospitals have formed sleeper cells ready to be "unleashed" at the first sign of any serious threat to Tehran.


The agents were trained by Iranian intelligence services, and are also said to be recruiting fellow Shias in the region, whose communities have traditionally been marginalized by the Gulf's ruling Sunni Arab clans, the Telegraph reported.


Assadinia, who fled Iran after whistle-blowing on corruption among the country's all-powerful theocrats, said that were America or Israel to attack Iran, such cells would be instructed to foment long-dormant sectarian grievances and attack American and European business interests in wealthy states such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia.


According to the Telegraph, such a scenario would bring chaos to the Gulf, one of the few areas of the Middle East that remains prosperous and has largely pro-Western governments.


"The Iranian government believes that to survive it needs permanent bases throughout the Middle East. Anybody who contemplates threatening or invading Iran will have those cells unleashed against them," Assadinia said.


'Claims baseless and fabricated'

He added that Iranian Foreign Ministry agents would regularly pass through with suitcases containing up to $21.4 million, using diplomatic baggage channels to bypass customs scrutiny.


"The amounts varied, but it would come through on average twice a month," he said. "I would see it sometimes. As far as I know, that money always went to Hizbullah."


His consulate, he said, was a hub for regional intelligence operations because of the huge number of Iranians working in Dubai, which is the main trade port for the Middle East. Its skyscrapers and industrial estates are home to 4,000 Iranian businesses, providing easy cover for espionage.


According to the Telegraph, a spokesman for the Iranian embassy in London described Mr Assadinia's claims as "baseless and fabricated".


He said the Iranian diplomatic presence in the Gulf was entirely legitimate and described the friendship society as an "illegal" organization dedicated to stirring up trouble between Iran and its neighbors.


פרסום ראשון: 03.04.07, 07:52
 new comment
This will delete your current comment