20 thoughts on “NPR on Asgari: Buying into Mossad Narrative – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard few remarks:

    1. Ansar Hezbollah personal, are all members of the basij militia, the basij militia receive its orders from the Revolutionary Guard. is it possible that the paths of Ebrahimi and Asgari crossed, i think it is.

    2. You state “, I’ve come to realize that the very mystery of this case allows everyone connected to it, whether journalist, analyst, politician, intelligence agent, to project their own political agenda onto the blank slate that is Asgari’s disappearance.”

    How is your own report different than any of the others?

    3. You claim that your source, is a senior IDF officer who’s a minister in the government part of Ehud Barak inner circle, if you watched mabat, Ayala Hasson stated that the polygraph tests that were conducted in Bibi’s office was conducted in many other offices including the ministry of defense. I don’t think your source is who you were told he is.

    1. 1. This is a ridiculous claim. The Basiji are two million plus strong, and Ansar e Hezbollah has always been considered a vigilante group, not one that was part of the government. “All of the members” are NOT Basiji militia. You are a liar, Ilan, and a propagandist.

      2. Richard’s claim has no holes, yet you consistently try to create some with spin and propaganda. He has informed sources whereas others have no such support — just “views from the periphery.” This story is great though. It has allowed the world to see who is willing to lie to advance their agenda and now we know they can never be trusted.

      3. Again, that proves nothing. You’re connecting a paranoid Saddam Hussein like PM with what? Come again? How about we hook Netanyahu up to a polygraph and air it on live television? I think the machine would come to life and pull its own plug!

      1. 1. Mr. PA, according to my sources, who are very reliable and proven to be right in the past. Amir Ebrahimi wasn’t just another member of Anser-El-Hezbollah, he was the managing editor of the group’s own newspaper. as such it was possible that he was exposed to high ranking officials. Including Asgari. personally i do not understand why as an Iranian you spend so much time trying to discredit Ebrahimi, who decided to leave his horrible past behind him, and became a human right activist, the only reason i can think of is that you work for the Iranian ministry of information and photo-shop application, and getting paid by them, are you ? besides i suggest you will start debating what i say, and not who i am, because you know nothing about me.

        2. Richard claim has one hole in it, he personally doesn’t know the source. and yes i know Richard doesn’t lie and i do not accuse Richard in lying.

        3. You have no idea secrets are being kept in israel, and just so you will understand : Secret Items are protected, in order to be in on a project one (IDF Officer / Politician, Including the Minister of Defense and the PM) need to sign a numbered document called “secret partner document”. the number of those who sign such a document is very limited to begin with, and it is possible that two people either working in the same office or serving in the same unit, will have no knowledge of what the other is working on. all that leads to a very limited group who would be on a secret of that magnitude. since Richard published his source his an EX IDF senior officer, within Barak’s inner circle who serves / served as a minister, the number of people who answer that description is very limited. and finding out that someone is extremely easy. all that tells me, that the possibility that Richard source is not who Richard think he is, is highly possible.

        1. he was the managing editor of the group’s own newspaper. as such it was possible that he was exposed to high ranking officials.

          If yr. sources are relying on Ebrahimi’s claims it would be a mistake. Nothing coming out of that man’s mouth is the truth. Ebrahimi claims he was a Revolutionary Guard, not that he was Ansar Hezbollah. THAT’S how he claims he knows Asgari. Yr claim actually attempts to bolster a claim on his behalf which he never made.

          i do not understand why as an Iranian you spend so much time trying to discredit Ebrahimi

          Because he’s a total fraud. Even ALlison Kaplan SOmmer, a regular Jerusalem Post contributor calls him a fraud.

          became a human right activist

          Bull, he’s a grasping opportunist. He was a revolutionary when it appeared they might win. Now he’s anti-regime, pro regime change because it’s very cozy to be under the protection of the CIA &/or Mossad. They treat you well when they need you.

          the only reason i can think of is that you work for the Iranian ministry of information and photo-shop application, and getting paid by them, are you ?

          Whoa, I didn’t think I was going to have to moderate you. But this is a MAJOR comment rule violation & I’m going to moderate future comments. I will not allow you to make any future comments in this vein. Period. Accusing someone of being a paid agent is a very, very serious one. It cannot be made without proof. Real proof. This was outrageous.

          But what’s interesting is that PA, who supports NIAC, which was founded by Trita Parsi is routinely accused by MKO of being paid agents of the Iranian regime. So you’re making the same accusation against PA, which would put YOU in bed w. MKO. We all know Mossad is. So you appear to be carrying water for Mossad, or at least for Mossad’s views on the matter. Notice I didn’t say you were a paid agent of Mossad or anyone else. Espousing a view that is close to one of MKO or Mossad does not make you a paid agent. Give PA the same respect pls.

          he personally doesn’t know the source

          Now I do. And he’s a more senior figure than I suspected hence more credible.

          1. 1. If you can see i was asking a question not making a statement. there is a question mark at the end.
            2. if you can see a line above, Mr. PA called me a liar and a propagandist, you got to know me a bit via our communication, i am neither. it wasn’t the first time he suggested that, and i think that you show your biased via this act.
            3. i assume you didn’t talk to the source, but you heard it via your middle man, am i right ?

          2. I think even posing this as a question to PA is offensive. If you have evidence to prove such a statement it would be reasonable to raise the issue, but if not, not. Even people here who toe a line that is so close to the Mossad’s or MFA’s as to be interchangable…I at most accuse them of being mouthpieces or hasbarists. But to say someone is a paid agent, that’s beyond the pale. And btw people accuse me of this virtually every month or 2. That’s why I find it even more offensive.

            If I didn’t know you I actually would’ve banned you. So I’m cutting you a break. And if PA or any commenter had accused you of being a paid lackey of the Israeli gov’t I’d be hopping mad at him too. I just think that drags things too much into the gutter. I’ll revisit this decision in a couple of days. But pls. don’t write something like that again.

        2. Ilan, if I am a paid agent, will you hire me for double the rate? What is 2 x zero? 😉 I guarantee you that there are no agents of the Iranian government that can read and write English, nor speak it, as well as I can. I am also an American, but don’t kowtow to any agendas. I am not going to ever join any faction that wants me to kill or cause human suffering on any level. Whether it’s Eskimo, Iranian, Swahili, Gibraltan, Portugese or American — I am a global citizen, one that shares with you, Ilan, a common humanity under the same blue sky you look at.

          The reason I call you a liar is because you make inaccurate statements such as this one as a matter of a fact: “Ansar Hezbollah personal, are all members of the basij militia, the basij militia receive its orders from the Revolutionary Guard.” You then provide a one line conclusion based on this lie. That is called propaganda. You continue then to discredit Richard in #2, and in #3, you make a wholly nonsensical argument. This is par for your habitual commentary here.

          If you want to poke holes in Richard’s blog entries, then do so with substantive argument, not with whitewashed blanket statements and misstatements of fact (read: lies).

          Questioning a journalist’s source against an army-led government that is willing to kill (and has proven it by snuffing probably a million or more souls by now) is not only selfish, but dastardly. You put the source at risk, you put Richard at some risk, and you then try to discredit Richard for not wanting to serve you the source on a plate. Your intent is obvious: find out who the source is. Funny, Mossad and the MKO, marital partners, want to know the same thing. As such, you are acting on behalf of them, if you are not truly an extension thereof. You asked Richard for his source once, and he gave you an answer. There’s no need to bring up the issue incessantly for the reasons listed above. If you are respectful of human life over self-interest, and I’m not talking about Richard’s life, but the source’s, then you will kindly stop.

          I make arguments for truth and reality, such that they break through the dark cloud of fiction like the propeller plane of freedom and liberty. This is in the spirit of the true pursuit of happiness for mankind. You can either kowtow to your own agenda, or you can join us. But, please don’t label me into a category like “agent” or “apologist”. I don’t apologize for clarifying what is true and what is fake, and never will. And you know, I’m neither the first nor the only one.

          1. Mr. PA.
            this is not the first time you accuse me of being a liar / an apologist of the israeli regime, or conducting hasbara on behalf of the israeli regime, funny how i am being moderated for that but you weren’t.

            i suggest that if you really who you claim you are, you would quite the ad-hominem and try and conduct a civilized discussion, for example if you would have asked me who my source was, i would have referred you to Wikipedia on both matters.

            as for your claim that i am trying to discredit Richard, i am not. and i believe Richard knows that. if he would decide to share with you our private correspondence, that is totally up to him.

          2. Unfortunately, in the context in which I operate I have to mistrust any Israeli who contacts me privately & who seems to have an agenda of any sort. But yes, I think you have less of an agenda than most who do begin a private correspondence & you have even offered some useful resources. We certainly have conflicting views on many issues, but I certainly wouldn’t place you in the category of others who’ve tried to inveigle themselves into my graces.

          3. Your intent is obvious: find out who the source is

            I wouldn’t say he wanted the source (at least not in his recent comments) or at least that he was saying he wanted the source, though other dummies have been stupid enough to actually demand that I produce it. I think IlanP is a bit smarter than that. But he certainly wants to claim that my source is either non-existent or that I’m being “had” in trusting such a source.

            BTW, now that I know who the source is, I think he/she is quite well ensconced & I’m not terribly worried about his/her safety. But I still think anyone who puts themselves out there within the Israeli context takes a chance & therefore should be as protected as possible.

    2. Then you disagree w. Muahmmad Sahimi, who lived in Iran at the time Ansar Hezbollah was founded & likely was harrassed by them as he was a left-friendly student at the time. Muhammad says AH has nothing to do w. the Revolutionary Guards. I’ll take the word of a knowledgeable Iranian-American over yrs. I’m afraid. OF course, things may’ve developed & over time AH may’ve become absorbed into the Basij. But that wasn’t the case when Ebrahimi was in AH which would’ve been decades ago.

      My report is different because it is based at least in part on the word of a former IDF officer & cabinet minister, along with a close reading of Israeli journalists who specialize in intelligence matters. Also, unlike Rozen, Shuster, Melman, Ebrahimi, MKO & all the rest, I acknowledge the possibility that I am wrong or partially wrong & I present the theories of the other side even when disagreeing w. them. I have a strong pt of view, but I acknowledge there are others even if I find them wanting. This is precisely the problem w. Rozen, Shuster & Melman’s shoddy or incomplete journalism.

      I didn’t say my source IS a minister. I said he WAS. I’ve since learned the identity of the source and he is NOT a current defense ministry employee.

      1. Shuster states the following: “In late 2006 Asgari left Iran, apparently without authorization, says Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli specialist in Iranian affairs.

        First of all, in the transcript of Shuster’s statement, he fails to explain that “Meir Javedanfar” is an Iranian-ISRAELI, who lives in ISRAEL.

        Secondly, I find it incredibly disingenous to claim that Asgari left Iran “apparently” as he states, apparently WITHOUT authorization.

        How utterly ridiculous does this sound, especially coming from someone who pretends to be an “expert” on Iranian affairs!

        1. Prof. Sahimi, who I trust implicitly, tells me that he left with a special passport allowing him to visit Syrian holy sites (but which didn’t allow him to enter Turkey). If I had to choose who to believe I’d go w. Sahimi.

  2. RE: “Why would Israel have to imprison him [Ali Reza Asgari] if he defected?” – a native Iranian expert on NPR
    POSSIBLE SCENARIO [PURELY HYPOTHETICAL]: Suppose that after the “defection” Asgari was being “debriefed”. Further suppose that Israel and/or the U.S. wanted him to say that Iran was working on “da bomb” [as Fox “News” refers to nuclear weapons].
    But unfortunately, he told them Iran wasn’t trying to develop a nuclear weapon as far as he knew. Then they said, “Well, that’s a shame because if you can remember something that perhaps you had forgotten [wink, wink] that convinces you the “mad mullahs” have a covert program aimed at producing nuclear weapons [wink, wink], then you can instantly become a very wealthy man (like that Iranian “defector” reportedly given access by the CIA to a bank account containing five million dollars – that is, until he decided to go back to Iran).”
    But the “defector” Asgari still claimed he couldn’t remember anything about an ongoing covert nuclear weapons program. [In other words, he still wouldn’t lie.]
    Consequently, “Pricky Dick” Cheney decided that Asgari’s “feigned lack of knowledge” as to Iran’s WMD program was a “clear indication” that Asgari was “withholding vital information” (“like those crafty Persians are famous for”). He therefore insisted they try a little “unfriendly persuasion” of the “enhanced interrogation” [wink, wink] variety.
    When Asgari still couldn’t remember anything about an ongoing covert nuclear weapons program, “Pricky Dick” Cheney DEMANDED they use a whole lot of “unfriendly persuasion”; because, he insisted, “that’s the only way you can get the truth out of those cagey Iranians”.

    1. You could be right. In December 2007 the Bush Administration stunned everyone by reversing their position on Iran’s nuclear weapons program and stating “that Iran did have a nuclear weapons research program until early 2003, but then dismantled it.”

      The author of this article and other journalists and experts at the time speculated that maybe they reversed their previous statements, whereby they accused Iran of actively pursuing a nuclear weapon, based on information proved by Asgari.:


      So, it is possible that Asgari was not giving them what they wanted to hear, and they therefore resorted to “other” means of interrogation.

      Let’s not forget that we’re dealing with a timeframe in which torture was being used on Taliban detainees and 9/11 suspects. It WAS a time when an “anything goes” policy above the rule of law was adopted to extract intelligence.

      I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the Bush Administration at the time worked with Amir Farshad Ebrahimi in Turkey (Iranian dissident/defector living in Turkey at the time and in Germany now) to lure Asgari to Turkey and then have him subsequently turned him over to Mossad.

  3. Richard, I still believe that your source may have been telling the truth when he told you Asgari was Prisoner X.

    Having said this, I believe that it’s possible that since Asgari was a top intelligence official when he was stationed in Lebanon, he may have known Ebrahimi was employed there as well by the Iranian government.

    From wiki bios on both men:

    “He [Ebrahimi] was the media attaché of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon from 1997 to 1998.

    “during the 1990s he [Asgari] was the top Iranian intelligence official in Lebanon, where he worked with the Shia militant group Hezbollah”

    Since Ebrahimi defected around 1999-2000, and Asgari was STILL employed by the Iranian government in a top level intelligence position at that time, and later as deputy defense minister, he may have been made aware of Ebrahimi’s movements since Ebrahimi was attempting to harm the Iranian government with videotaped declarations and pretending to reveal secrets he knew about their nuclear program. No doubt everyone in top level positions knew what Ebrahimi had done to betray Khatami’s government at the time. Mohammad Khatami was Iran’s President at the time and Asgari was in good standing in his government.

    Ebrahimi alleges in a July 2010 interview that the “Rescue Committee” he’s associated with was created SPECIFICALLY as a result of Asgari’s defection.

    “The Nejat Committee is a committee that works under the oversight of the U.S. State Department. It was created during George W. Bush’s second term. It sees its duty as helping those Iranians who are senior officials or middle managers in the Iranian establishment and who want [to defect].

    THE FIRST TRIGGER FOR THE CREATION of the committee was WHEN ASGARI LEFT IRAN, and we helped him. A committee was created unintentionally. We organized it later and it is still active. I’m the only Iranian member of the committee. The others are from the U.S. government, the principle being that the committee says it exists, but it doesn’t really talk about its work and activities.”


    A very dubious Sunday Times article that is mentioned in wiki states the following which is the only part of the article that seems accurate: “Asgari is a gold mine for western intelligence,” said an Israeli defence source. “We have been following him for years, especially since the late 1980s when he was commander of the Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon.”

    We know the Israelis had many reasons to want to get their hands on Asgari. It’s easy to imagine that Mossad in 2006/7 would have many agents in Turkey.

    At the time, stories surfaced in the press that Asgari arranged to have close to a dozen family members defect with him. We know this to be false and ludicrous and in a way this theory blows apart the whole “defection/asylum” theory.

    Somehow, Asgari was lured alone into Turkey perhaps through Ebrahimi who believed the U.S. was going to provide Asgari with asylum, BUT, because he was dealing with the Bush Administration who fabricated a war on trumped-up intelligence and had their legal counsel rephrase the law to be able to torture detainees, maybe, they weren’t playing with a full deck in the case of Asgari’s defection/kidnapping either. Maybe Ebrahimi was led to believe that Asgari was given asylum when in fact, he was immediately turned over to Mossad once he was lured to the specific location where they were to meet.

    Anyway, this would explain why Ebrahimi is convinced Asgari is alive and well and living in the U.S. Then someone gave him fake asylum documents to post on his website to make the defection angle look more credible.

    Here’s the thing, if Mossad had been shadowing this guy for years and Israelis were eager to get their hands on him, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that some deal was worked out whereby the Israelis would end up with Asgari to extract as much information as possible from him?

    Or maybe they brought him to a U.S. base, Germany for example, but when things turned sour because they weren’t getting as much as they wanted from him, they handed him over to the Israelis there.

    Either scenario is possible.

    1. the principle being that the committee says it exists, but it doesn’t really talk about its work and activities.

      Can you imagine such a blowhard & an idiot who claims that the committee members “don’t really talk about its work & activities” when he’s done just that & blown it’s cover to boot??? Any intelligence agency or gov’t that trusts this guy or gives him a dime should have their head handed to ’em.

      The guy just can’t shut up. No wonder he was a media liaison in Lebanon.

      1. I kind of had a sense you’d pick up on that line.

        It’s very possible that no one will ever trust Ebrahimi or his U.S. government liaisons again until the U.S. or someone else come up with solid proof that Asgari is alive, and I mean videotape.

        After Shahram Amiri, the most recent “defector”, returned to Iran, Ebrahimi posted e-mails on his blog proving that Amiri contacted him to get help in defecting.

        Anyone wanting to defect might see this as a breach of trust and think twice about dealing with him.

        The fact that Amiri made that tape where he accused the U.S. of torturing him also might discourage high-level Iranian officials from defecting.

        However, this convoluted Amiri story, with 2 contradictory versions could have been staged to protect Amiri upon his return to Iran, but then why would the U.S. jeopardize discouraging other defectors by assisting Amiri in coming up with the scenario that he escaped the CIA in Virginia because he was tortured? Anyway, how on earth does one escape the CIA if they want to hang on to you? Obviously they didn’t care much what he did.

        It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Ebrahimi seems to do a whole lot of talking. After the Asgari case, perhaps Ebrahimi’s nothing more than a tool for putting out a convenient message.

  4. Withdrawing the Iranian “kingpin witness”
    By: Radwan Murtada
    An official at the special tribunal for Lebanon had confirmed the information that been circulating since last fall about the withdrawal of the name of the “pivotal” witness from the text of the indictment.
    The Kingpin witness is an ex official in the Iranian revolutionary Guards with the rank of general, he was excluded for fear of exposing his ties to Israeli Mossad.

    The name of the Kingpin witness had been withdrawn from the text of the indictment despite the “irrefutable evidence” he had provided and upon which the special tribunal for Lebanon’s prosecutor Daniel Belmar had relied on to accuse Iranian leaders and members of Hezbollah of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri, The prime witness Ali A. was withdrawn for fear of exposing his true Identity and nature as a secret operative of the shah’s savak between 1967 and 1979 prior to joining the Iranian revolutionary guards and becoming a double agent for the Israeli Mossad in the early eighties.

    The intent of including Asghari’s testimony was to prove that he had participated in the assassination of prime minister Rafic Hariri as a member of the”Haj Saleem” cell which was headed by the martyred military head of Hezbollah , Imad Mughniyeh and his deputy Mustafa Badr Adeen, the UN investigators at Belmar’s office apparently had concluded that the above mentioned cell was part of the Jerusalem brigade of the Iranian revolutionary Guards commanded by general Qassem Al Sulaymani ” that gave the orders to assassinate prime minister Hariri without the knowledge of Hezbollah leadership”

    The information obtained by “Al-akhbar” characterizes Belmar’s evidence irrefutably confirms the Mitsubishi truck( the bomb laden truck used in the assassination) was purchased by Sunni fundamentalists working closely with Syrian military intelligence and that Mughniyeh had supplied them with explosives.

    Based on the testimony of the former Iranian official, the UN investigators intended to prove that the cell that purchased the mobile phones ( Purchased from Tripoli Lebanon and used in the assassination) was assigned to surveillance and was accompanied by members of Syrian military intelligence who secretly arrived from Damascus to execute the mission without the knowledge of the Syrian army command or the knowledge of Hezbollah , in this context we should remind of the offer advanced by prime minister (saad) Hariri to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in July 2010 to turn in “undisciplined members” , (undisciplined members as the culprits in the assassination thus exonerating the political leadership).

    The ” information” adopted by Belmar’s office indicate that the Hezbollah leadership ” as a result of the accusations brought against it had conducted its own internal investigation with a number of its commanders and discovered that members of the party commanded by Mughniyeh in cooperation with Syrian military intelligence had committed the assassination.

    The “Information” also indicates that the above resulted in “a chasm between the leadership of Hezbollah and the Iranian revolutionary guards which was mended before the party set out to liquidate those connected to the assassination with few exceptions that were allowed to leave and settle in Iran”.

    According to Belmar’s investigators, a member of the ” Haj Saleem” cell had managed to survive the liquidations and slip away to Cyprus via the Lebanese port of Junyeh with the help of the Mossad,that cell member is now in Holland as “THE WITNESS” , he is the Ex Iranian Official Ali A.

    Based on the above , the official at the special tribunal justifies the decision to withdraw the “Iranian witness” who had reviled himself to be a Mossad operative so as not to expose that the planning for he assassination was the work of Israeli intelligence and the execution was done by hands that didn’t know it was executing an Israeli planned penetration of the Iranian revolutionary guards which legally exonerate Syria , Iran and Hezbollah and implicates Israel and the US.

    Belmar’s information indicates that Iran choose not to dwell on Israel’s penetration of its revolutionary Guard in order to safeguard its reputation and that of mughniyeh who was acting in good faith upon the commands of Ali A and unbeknown to him that the later is a mossad operative.

    It is worth mentioning that the Iranian kingpin witness is connected to a seven billion dollars worth of compensatory judgments issued by various American courts as compensations for those who were killed or injured as a result of Iran’s revolutionary guards actions while it was stationed in Lebanon’s Bekka valley between 1982 and 1992 under the command of Ali A, .

    Also worth noting that the US government did not put Ali A. on trial for his crimes when he traveled to the US in February 2007 since prosecuting him would expose his ties to the Mossad throughout the period he commanded the revolutionary guards which may damn some Israeli and exonerate some Iranians.


    The Iranian general Ali A. is one of the most distinguished men of the Iranian regime in the period prior to the ascendancy of Mahmud Ahmadi Najad to the presidency , he was one of the group that overseen the establishment of Hezbollah , during his nearly 17 years stay in Lebanon he participated in combat and ,helped plan and train Hezbollah members to conduct highly effective military operations against the Israelis.

    According to media reports the general was a supporter of ex President Hashime Rafsanjani and had a close relationship with the assassinated military leader of Hezbollah Imad mughniyeh.

    The Iranian general disappeared in turkey on the 7th of February 2007after leaving his hotel to an unknown destination , there were reports of escape to the USA upon being exposed as an operative of the Israeli mossad, his last position was deputy defense minister , he was removed from that position and appointed as a consultant to the defense ministry after Mahmud Ahmadi Najad became president of the Islamic republic in 2005 .


    1. All I can say is don’t trust everything (or in many cases, anything) you read in certain Arab publications. Mossad killed Hariri? And perhaps did the WTC 9/11 bombings as well? Why not? Or better to ask, why? Sounds like pure nonsense to me based on what? Who or what is the source for all this? None offered.

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