Skip to comments.Iran poised to strike in wealthy Gulf states
Posted on 03/04/2007 4:36:46 AM PST by freedom44
Iran has trained secret networks of agents across the Gulf states to attack Western interests and incite civil unrest in the event of a military strike against its nuclear programme, a former Iranian diplomat has told The Sunday Telegraph.
Spies working as teachers, doctors and nurses at Iranian-owned schools and hospitals have formed sleeper cells ready to be "unleashed" at the first sign of any serious threat to Teheran, it is claimed.
Trained by Iranian intelligence services, they are also said to be recruiting fellow Shias in the region, whose communities have traditionally been marginalised by the Gulf's ruling Sunni Arab clans.
Were America or Israel to attack Iran, such cells would be instructed to foment long-dormant sectarian grievances and attack the ex-tensive American and European business interests in wealthy states such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Such a scenario would bring chaos to the Gulf, one of the few areas of the Middle East that remains prosperous and has largely pro-Western governments.
The claims have been made by Adel Assadinia, a former career diplomat who was Iran's consul-general in Dubai and an adviser to the Iranian foreign ministry. They came as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, made a formal visit to Saudi Arabia yesterday in what was widely seen as an attempt to defuse growing Sunni-Shia tensions in the Middle East. advertisement <A HREF="http://ads.telegraph.co.uk/event.ng/Type%3dclick%26FlightID%3d18192%26AdID%3d21848%26TargetID%3d4536%26Redirect%3dhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/exclusions/supplements/goodshepherd/nosplit/shepherdcast.xml" target="_blank"><IMG SRC="http://ads.telegraph.co.uk/u/uip/goodshepherd/goodshep_mpu_4.gif" WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=250 BORDER=0></A>
Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of backing Shia death squads killing Sunnis in Iraq, and of backing the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia in its efforts to bring down the government in Beirut. Meanwhile, a US naval build-up has continued in the Gulf waters south of Iran, a move intended to show Washington's readiness to strike against Teheran's nuclear installations for defying UN orders to cease uranium enrichment.
Mr Assadinia, who fled Iran after whistle-blowing on corruption among the country's all-powerful theocrats, said: "The Iranian government believes that to survive it needs permanent bases throughout the Middle East. Anybody who contemplates threatening or invading Iran will have those cells unleashed against them."
Mr Assadinia, 50, served for two years at the Iranian consulate in Dubai, which he says was also used as a conduit for illicit funding of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia militant group that waged a six-week war with Israel last summer.
Iranian foreign ministry agents would regularly pass through with suitcases containing up to £11 million, using diplomatic baggage channels to bypass customs scrutiny.
"The amounts varied, but it would come through on average twice a month," he said. "I would see it sometimes. As far as I know, that money always went to Hezbollah."
His consulate, he said, was a hub for regional intelligence operations because of the huge number of Iranians working in Dubai, which is the main trade port for the Middle East. Its skyscrapers and industrial estates are home to 4,000 Iranian businesses, providing easy cover for espionage.
Other intelligence activities included running nightclubs and prostitution rings, where carousing officials and diplomats could be lured into "honey trap" blackmail operations, and organising Iranian expatriates - there are an estimated 500,000 in the Gulf - to act as double agents.
"People were encouraged to tell the Europeans that Iran wanted a good relationship with them, when in fact Iran was involved in terrorism," said Mr Assadinia. Asked whether it was an attempt to divert attention from a covert nuclear weapons programme, he replied: "Precisely".
Shia population by country
Of greatest potential concern is his claim that Iran has established networks of agents to liaise with Shias across the Gulf, particularly in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Saudi Arabia.
Politically disfranchised Shia communities exist throughout the region. Teheran has backed their claims for more power ever since the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979, but could now also mobilise them as a way of deterring the Gulf's Sunni rulers from supporting American efforts to stop Iran's nuclear programme. Although most of the Gulf states oppose US intervention against Iran, privately they fear that a nuclear-armed Teheran would dominate the Middle East.
Allegations of Iranian agents operating in the Gulf have surfaced before, but it is rare for them to be spelt out in detail by a former regime official. Mr Assadinia named a hospital in Dubai - which The Sunday Telegraph has not identified for legal reasons - as one place where many doctors and nurses also worked for Iranian intelligence.
He left his post in Dubai in 2002 and was granted asylum in Europe a year later, having undergone "intimidating" interrogations by Iranian intelligence agents in Teheran. Mr Assadinia plans to give more detail of his claims at a meeting later this month at Westminster, organised by the British Awhazi Friendship Society, which lobbies Parliament, the European Union and the United Nations. He hopes his disclosures will encourage other Iranian officials to follow suit.
"The government sees itself as strong, but in fact it is like Saddam Hussein before he was overthrown - very fragile and brittle within," he added.
A spokesman for the Iranian embassy in London described Mr Assadinia's claims as "baseless and fabricated". He said the Iranian diplomatic presence in the Gulf was entirely legitimate and described the friendship society as an "illegal" organisation dedicated to stirring up trouble between Iran and its neighbours.
Yeah considering 90%+ support the Shah great idea genius.
Agreed, and meanwhile, the Telegraph and its left wing wacko sisters can continue to wring their hands and the prospect of the sky falling...they hope.
Time to beat all the dirt out of the rugs.
Would you expel Cuban-Americans as well? They are just as supportive of Castro as Iranian-Americans are of the regime in Iran.
Psssst. The Shah is dead.
If you think the US is going to assist in reinstalling the Shahdom in Iran, I would very much like some of what you're smoking.
The Peacock throne is gone and it will never return.
And what I meant to say was that these wealthy Gulf states should begin expelling Iranians.
The attack on Iran will be by the Gulf Arabs and Israel, not America. W will back them up, but will not initiate the war.
I did not say the US should help the Shah's son come to power I am stating that Iranian-Americans are the opposition to the regime in Iran and most all came here to escape the regimes policies.
Now that I have clarification on what you meant about expelling Iranians I understand.
Maybe you should apologize for your intended insult in post 3.
The little picture is the big picture in microcosmic form.
wow, is that word correct....heck I better move on here, I might actually type a coherent message.....
I know....and y'all are correct....typing a coherent message would be impossible.
How dare any of us learn something, anything, or figure out the 'little picture'
once proved an iranian attack......shouldn't take long...
iran's expecting to receive the same pass the saudis received?
iran will be running to the UN asking why weren't we (iran)
given a pass as the saudis were on 911?
UN will side with the monster (under the bed)?
NO, it would never happen?
Expect full cooperation from the two groups, or was that three groups counting the UN?
Just fooling......but 1 of many different possibilities.
It truly is the fog of war, without war having been declared this time.
and I'm still hearing the same info....
an army has been slipped in right under our noses and we are behaving as if we are powerless to stop the invasion,
move along....nothing to see here.....
When our nation actually hears the message 'we are at war', how many American lives will have been lost?
May there never be an attack of this type, for would mean full scale nuclear action!
or full scale nuclear annihilation depending on whose side those people in D.C. are on......
little picture - big picture.....both pictures only one of many possibilities....
May the military alway remain in control of the nukes, in our nation, D.C. would rather force
our nation to and into the ground, as for me and my house, I'll trust not the politicians, but will
instead trust the nation's military. My politicians have only one responsibility and that is to fund
the military in order that the military and the military families are provided for, congress has no other
function, if truly as you say congress, "We are at War". Okay congress, if we are at war, supply our military
with the most uptodate equipment, protect and support our military families, and get out of the way
in order that our military may do what has to be done to serve, protect, and defend America.
Otherwise dear congressperson, you serve only to help the enemy! Our military volunteered to serve, protect, and defend! America's best and brightest are defending our nation......does that mean anything to you congresspeople?
I'll cease to bore you now, I hope none read the full text, tweren't worth it......except for the part about funding our military.....congress don't make the people come up there.....
congress is still yelling something from the balcony..... What's that phrase congress is yelling
yes, you guessed it......Go To ____
~FReepers, please forgive my rant..