Ali Rez Asgari (archive photo)
‘Iranian general defected with classified documents’
Former colleague says Ali Rez Asgari left Turkey with documents, maps that shed light on Revolutionary Guards' links to Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad; defector was privy to confidential information regarding Iran’s plans in case of conflict with US, he adds
Former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ali Rez Asgari left Turkey for an undisclosed location in Europe with a false passport with the help of Western officials, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Friday.
Washington Post quotes official as saying that Asgari's disappearance was voluntary, orchestrated by Israel. Another American official says former Iranian defense official is providing Western intelligence agencies with information on Hizbullah-Iran ties
A former colleague told the newspaper that Asgari took with him documents and maps that shed light on Iran’s military and the Revolutionary Guards' links to Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, the “Mahadi Army” and the “Badr Corps” (military forces of The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq).
The Iranian source said Asgari was also in possession of documents related to Iran’s ballistic missiles project and was privy to confidential information regarding the Islamic Republic’s plan in case of a conflict with the US.
A senior American official said on Thursday that Asgari is providing Western intelligence agencies with information on Hizbullah and Iran's ties to the organization.
Saudi newspaper Al-Watan recently reported the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are instilling changes in the defense systems protecting the country’s nuclear reactors for fear that Israeli and US intelligence agencies are now in possession of specific information that may threaten the facilities.
According to Asharq al-Awsat, Asgari informed an American official of his desire to defect a few weeks in advance, after which he was quickly transferred to a safe house in Turkey and given a false passport.