Thursday, March 8, 2007

Former Iranian Defense Minister possibly defecting to U.S.

Former Iranian Defense Minister, Ali Reza Asghari, has mysteriously turned up missing after a recent visit to Turkey. Asghari has been missing since early February after checking into an Istanbul hotel.

Iran's top cop, Gen. Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam, said they were investigating the fate of missing Defense Minister Asghari and was working closely with authorities in Turkey.

"It is likely that Asghari has been abducted by the Western intelligence services," IRNA quoted the Iranian police general as saying. The general did not elaborate.

Iran has also implied that Israeli intelligence, Mossad may have kidnapped Asghari, as it is alleged he may have information on a missing IAF navigator.

Persian Journal reports -

According to the London-based daily A-Sharq al-Awsat, the former deputy defense minister of Iran was being held for questioning in northern Europe on his way to the US, where he was reportedly headed to seek asylum.

Latest reports from Fox News indicate London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat has reported Asghari is on his way to the united States.

The newspaper quoted senior Iranian sources as saying Asghari is headed for the United States "along with the secrets he carried."

A Senior U.S. official told FOX News that Asghari is not in CIA hands but said that it's a "mystery" why he disappeared "and the U.S. intelligence community is seeking more clarity."

Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Asghari is being questioned by intelligence personnel before being transferred to the United States.

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