A former fighter in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) turned US spy offered a rare glance into one of the most complex countries in the Middle East.
During a conference held at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Friday, Reza Kahlili (pseudonym) estimated that Iran will eventually attack Israel, Europe and the Persian Gulf states. He called for a preemptive strike on the regime in Tehran, but not on the Iranian people or the country's infrastructure.
Kahlili accused the Obama Administration of being naïve. According to him, the American overtures are viewed by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness, while the Iranian people consider the efforts to engage the regime an act of betrayal against their struggle for freedom.
Click here to listen to Kahlili speak at conference
"This is a messianic regime. There should be no doubt – they are going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history. They will attack Israel, European capitals, and (the) Persian Gulf region at the same time," said Kahlili in one of his first public appearances to promote his new book "A Time To Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran".
Kahlili said he joined the Revolutionary Guard following the Islamic revolution of 1979, but volunteered to work for the CIA when he became disillusioned with the Khomeini regime after witnessing acts of rape, torture and murder.
Kahlili, arrived at the conference wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses and a baseball cap to conceal his identity. Out of concern for his safety, as well as that of his family inside Iran, his voice was also disguised.
For 10 years, under the code name "Wally," he relayed the secret operations of the IRGC back to American intelligence, eventually fleeing to the United States. In the aftermath of 9/11, Kahlili reestablished contact with his sources in Iran and began once again providing information to the CIA, according to the Washington Institute.