Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Panic in Tehran Over Defections Panic in Tehran Over Defections

Panic in Tehran Over Defections. Uh oh. Another one.
WASHINGTON -- The Iranian government is in full damage control mode over the recent defection of a top Revolutionary Guard general and former deputy defense minister..

Iranian government officials have issued a series of contradictory claims about the defection of Gen. Alireza Asgari, 63, who "disappeared" from his hotel room in Istanbul, Turkey on Feb. 7 and reportedly defected to the United States.

But in recent days, the mood within intelligence circles in Tehran has turned to panic as rumors have begun to circulate that a second well-placed Revolutionary Guards general has defected...

In recent days, intelligence circles in Tehran have been awash with rumors of a second high-level defection to the Americans of a Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer, Brig. Gen. Seyed Mohammad Soltani.

Gen. Soltani is a career intelligence officer, who took over as head of the Persian Gulf bureau of Rev. Guards intelligence in October 2006. On Feb. 8, just one day after Gen Asgari disappeared in Istanbul, Gen. Soltani traveled to Bandar Abbas, where he was scheduled to inspect an intelligence listening post. Instead, he vanished.

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