The recent disappearance of Ali Reza Asgari, Iran’s former deputy defense minister who was on a visit to Istanbul has been a mystery for the past several days. Now a report by the Arabic newspaper Al Sharq Al Wasat says that Asgari defected to the US after arriving in Istanbul from Damascus on February 7th.It appears that there is some confirmation that he has fled to the West and is cooperating with us. Couldn't happen to a more deserving Islamic Republic.
Although the story has not been confirmed by any sovereign authority, it is already evident that the saga has created panic inside Ahmadinejad’s administration. Soon after his disappearance was discovered, Iran dispatched an operations team to Ankara to help the Turkish authorities to look for him. At the same time, a public relations campaign was launched with Iranian minister Mottaki has doing his best to downplay Asgari’s importance as an official in order to reduce the damage to the Iranian government’s image.
He wasn’t fooling anyone. It is clear that Asgari is a man privy to numerous secrets which Iran desperately does not want revealed. As well as being a former deputy defence Minister, Asgari was also a General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). The IRGC, more than any other branch of Iran’s armed forces, is aware of, and has access to Iran’s nuclear program. Its members are in charge of monitoring and protecting Iran’s nuclear installations, and scientists.
Furthermore, the IRGC is in charge of developing and testing Iran’s missiles, an arsenal which Iran has threatened to use if attacked. Last but not least, the IRGC is in charge of training and arming Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iraqi Shiite militants in Iraq.