Reports about Ali Reza Asghari have been wildly conflicting, and this may be just another one that is hotly controverted, but anyway, here it is. By Yoav Stern and Reuters in Haaretz:
The Iranian former deputy defense minister who disappeared in Turkey last month left his country with documents that prove that there is a link between the Iranian military establishment and terror groups including Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, the pan-Arab newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Friday.
A former colleague of Ali Reza Asghari, 63, told the newspaper, which is published in London, that the document also cites groups such as the Mahdi Shi’ite militia operating in Iraq.
Asghari, a retired general in the elite Revolutionary Guards, went missing in what may have been a Western intelligence operation. Turkish newspaper Hurriyet said in an unsourced report that he was involved in Iran’s nuclear program. If so, he would be a major asset for Western or Israeli interrogators.
Ram Igra, a retired official with Israel’s Mossad espionage agency, said this week that Asghari is best known to Israel as the “founder” of Hezbollah.
Igra said that before Asghari took up the Defense Ministry post, he had been a commander with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the main sponsor Hezbollah.
UPDATE: “Missing Iranian Minister is Cooperating with Western Intelligence – Source,” from Asharq Alawsat, with thanks to Judy.