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|04-25-2007, 11:46 PM||#1|
Cold War Boomer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Walla Walla
Lies and more lies reveal the real Iran
I thought something funny was going on when Iran kidnapped the 15 British Sailors and Royal Marines ... This article points to the real reason Iran was upset.
No link, but this is not a copyrite problem with public domain ... Long, but eye opening.
Iran was after a hostage swap, not Easter 'gift'
By Gordon Thomas
LONDON -- Behind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement of his Easter "gift" to the people of Britain by releasing his pawns - the 15 hostages - was the barely concealed fury of a tyrant who repeatedly tried, and failed, to drive a horrendous deal.
As well as being allowed to stage-manage the release of the hostages, he wanted an Iranian family who have sought refuge in Britain to be handed back to face certain torture and death.
They are Iran's former spy chief, General Ali Reza Askari, his wife Azil, and their three teenage children. They had secretly arrived in Britain just five days before the Revolutionary Guards captured Faye Turney and her fellow sailors in the still disputed waters between Iran and Iraq.
The Askaris were spirited out of Iran by an MI6-led operation that one intelligence officer called "the most daring for years."
What infuriated president Ahmadinejad was that Askari had been a personal friend and had defected with the latest details of how close Iran is to having a nuclear bomb - and how far Ahmadinejad will go to support attacks on British troops in Basra.
MI6 agents in Iran now know that the capture of the fifteen sailors had been personally ordered by Ahmadinejad to trade them for the Askari family.
"It was a deal the Iranian negotiators repeatedly raised during all the talks our diplomats had with them," confirmed a senior intelligence officer in London. "Time and again the Iranians were polite, but were firmly told Britain would never consider such an exchange."
While Faye Turney and the other hostages had no clue as to what really lay behind their capture, General Askari and his family knew only too well the fate that awaited them if Iran could somehow force Britain to return them to Tehran.
No amount of assurance by their MI6 "minders" in the safe house "somewhere in Britain" that they were indeed secure could hide their own fears during the hostage crisis.
That only came when they saw the TV footage of the freed sailors returning home. The family hugged each other and repeatedly thanked their minders.
The operation to help General Askari to defect had begun in December 2006, after an MI6 officer at the British Embassy in Tehran sent a coded message to the Iranian Desk at MI6 HQ overlooking the Thames.
Checks were made on Askari's background. He was 63 years old and, as well as Iran's spy chief, had been deputy defense minister.
Soon 50 personnel were involved in spiriting the Askaris out of Iran. A team of agents "minded" Askari from the time he said he wanted to defect. At MI6 HQ, staff organized passports for the family and their travel documents.
An MI6 "housekeeper" selected the appropriate safe house in which the family would stay. Security-cleared linguists were chosen to teach the Askaris English.
As each arrangement fell into place, it was signed-off by various directors before ending up in MI6 chief John Scarlett's office.
In January 2007 Meir Dagan, Mossad's chief, flew to London. Over sandwiches and coffee with Scarlett in an MI6 conference room, Dagan had agreed to provide what "help" he could. He suggested the "exit strategy" for Askari should be either through Syria or Turkey; both were countries Askari visited on a regular basis.
More meetings had followed in Tel Aviv between MI6 agents and Mossad. Turkish intelligence was brought into the loop. Still further discussions followed in Ankara.
There were also the first high-risk contacts between Iranian-born Mossad agents and Askari in Tehran. Having established he really wanted to defect, Askari insisted his wife and family must also be brought out of Iran. For them to remain behind would guarantee their deaths.
The request was swiftly agreed by Scarlett. By early February a working team had been established in MI6 to develop scenarios that would bring Askari and his family to the West.
On Jan. 25, Askari's wife and children booked a holiday on the Black Sea resort of Samusun. Awaiting them were Turkish intelligence officers and an MI6 agent. Meantime General Askari flew to Damascus, ostensibly to meet Syrian intelligence officers and members of the Hezbollah at a regular regional intelligence gathering.
Having been assured his wife and children were about to board a plane from Istanbul to Rome, General Askari caught a flight from Damascus to Istanbul on Feb. 27.
As instructed, he checked into a hotel and unpacked his clothes, having paid for his room by credit card to cover two nights. A Mossad agent observed the reservations being made.
On the evening of March 1, Askari left the hotel - and never returned. A car driven by a Turkish intelligence officer took him across the border with Bulgaria.
From Sofia he caught a flight to Rome. Sat behind him on the plane was an MI6 officer. Escorted by yet another MI6 officer, Askari flew to London. Within hours he was being debriefed.
Next day Askari was reunited with his family in the safe house. The Iranian Foreign Ministry two days later issued an official notification to Turkey that "General Askari has gone missing and we request all possible assistance to locate him. He may have been kidnapped by foreign agents."
Shortly afterwards the plot to capture the 15 sailors was launched - to become a "deal, no deal."
This weekend the Askari family, accompanied by their minders, will be driven on a carefully chosen route through the English countryside to see for themselves the freedom which is now as much theirs as that for Faye Turney and the other sailors who were used as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's pawns.
Gordon Thomas, a regular G2B contributor, is the author of "Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad," the new edition of which was published in January 2007. He specialises in international intelligence matters.
|04-26-2007, 12:48 AM||#2|
Join Date: May 2006
talk about conjecture
download my playable viic/41 submarine
|04-26-2007, 01:35 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Canberra, ACT, Down Under (really On Top)
If that was close to accurate, i reckon the author would be in a wee bit of trouble!
Sounds bloody complicated too, mossad, MI6, Turkish intelligence officers - combined with other countries too, bulgaria, Italy...
If thats close to accurate - wow. If not, well its still a mighty interesting little read.
|04-26-2007, 02:42 AM||#4|
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Jerusalem, Israel