Amir Taheri New York Post
2007 Friday 09 March
VERY big fish" - so Tehran sources describe former Deputy Defense Minister Ali-Reza Askari (sometimes called "Asghari" in the West), who disappeared in Istanbul on Sunday.
Askari's disappearance fits an emerging pattern. Since December, the United States and its allies appear to have moved onto the offensive against the Islamic Republic's networks of influence in the Middle East:
- Jordan has seized 17 Iranian agents, accused of trying to smuggle arms to Hamas, and deported them quietly after routine debriefing.
- A number of Islamic Republic agents have been identified and deported in Pakistan and Tunisia.
- At least six other Iranian agents have been picked up in Gaza, where they were helping Hamas set up armament factories.
- In the past three months, some 30 senior Iranian officials, including at least two generals of Revolutionary Guards, have been captured in Iraq. More....