Wednesday, April 26, 2006


From Asia Times : A former Iranian ambassador and Islamic Republic insider has provided intriguing details....about US covert operations inside Iran aimed at destabilizing the country and toppling the regime - or preparing for an American attack.

"The Iranian government knows and is aware of such infiltration. It means that the Iranian government has identified them [the covert operatives] but for some reason does not want to show [this]," said the former diplomat....

There has been a marked spike in unrest in Kurdistan, Khuzestan and Balochistan, three of Iran's provinces with a high concentration of ethnic Kurdish, Arab and Balochi minorities respectively. With the exception of the immediate post-revolutionary period, when the Kurds rebelled against the central government and were suppressed violently, ethnic minorities have received better treatment, more autonomy and less ethnic discrimination than under the shah.

"The president hasn't notified the Congress that American troops are operating inside Iran," said Sam Gardiner, a retired US Army colonel who specializes in war-game scenarios. "So it's a very serious question about the constitutional framework under which we are now conducting military operations in Iran."

Recent events believed to be related to this low key black ops confrontation :

Early January - An Iran Revolutionary Guard military airplane crashed close to the Iraq border, killing 11 top Iranian commanders, including the commander of the Guard's ground forces and the deputy commander for intelligence. Bad weather and poor engine maintenance, due to sanctions on new aircraft parts, were originally blamed for the crash but intelligence experts pointed out this was unlikely as any flight carrying such top military brass would be properly maintained. An Iranian minister recently claimed the US was responsible, using radar and "signals jamming" equipment.

Mid-February - An aircraft leaving Azerbaijan province crashed inside Iraq, shortly after crossing into Iranian airspace. Western media reported the passengers as being German, but Iranian media claimed they were of Israeli origin.

April 9 - An unmanned suveillance plane is brought down in Khuzestan, Iran claims. Since 2004, the US had been flying UAVs over Iran, monitoring nuclear energy sites and military build up, and testing their tracking capabilities.