Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Do the CIA and Mossad have both sides of coin covered in Iran?

Recent reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hails from a Persian Jewish family with the surname Sabourjian, which translates from the "weaver of the sabour," sabour being the Persian Jewish prayer shawl, has intelligence agents all over the Middle East wondering if Ahmadinejad, with his bluster about there being no Holocaust and his reviling of Zionism, is just not too good to be true for those who want to attack Iran and overthrow the Islamic Republic. Ahmadinejad's father, Ahmad, did change the family's name from Sabourjian to Ahmadinejad, some say to hide the family's Jewish roots by adopting a Muslim name.

Of course, having Jewish roots in no way makes Ahmadinejad some sort of secret agent for the Mossad. However, the reports could undermine Ahmadinejad's standing among the more radical members of the Iranian Islamic leadership.

Ahmadinejad is linked politically to the Supreme Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei. However, according to an undated CIA document titled "Recent Developments in Iran," that appears to be from the time of the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, Khamenei is linked to the group of mullahs that included Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad's losing challenger in the recent Iranian presidential election. Mousavi served as Prime Minister under then-President Khamenei in the 1980s. More significantly, Mousavi, who received a great deal of financial support from groups associated with George Soros and his CIA-linked "foundations" during the recent presidential election campaign, was part and parcel of the Iranian end of the Iran-contra affair. Mousavi played a key role in freeing the American hostages in Lebanon in return for secret U.S. military aid in Iran's war against the forces of Saddam Hussein, who was also secretly backed by the Americans.

Another member of the Khamenei bloc, according to the CIA document, was Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, now the Secretary General of the Combatant Clergy Association. Kani's colleague in the bloc, according to the CIA document, was Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardabili, the head of the Iranian judiciary under Ayatollah Khomeini, who was, along with Khamenei, Rafsanjani, and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti, believed by many in Iran and abroad of having pre- and post-revolution links to the CIA. Beheshti was killed, along with over 70 other members of his Islamic Republican Party on June 28, 1981 in a terrorist bombing carried out by the neocon-supported Mohajedin-e-Khalq (MEK), the favorrite Iranian terrorist group of Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen. Beheshti was close to Mohamad Khatami, who would later become a moderate president of Iran, and Khomeini.

One of Ledeen's associates, Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian Jew who lived mostly in Rome, was a key middleman in the supply of U.S. weapons to Iran in the Iran-contra scandal. Ghorbanifar also became a key interlocutor in the lead-up to the U.S. attack and occupation of Iraq and his involvement is suspected in the forged Niger "yellowcake" uranium documents that were partially used to justify the attack on Iraq.

According to the CIA document, the Khamenei-Mousavi bloc was oposed by the bloc of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and, ironically, a backer of Mousavi in the recent election. Rafsanjani was also a key player in the Iran-contra affair and is suspected of receiving gifts from top Reagan administration officials in cementing the Iranian end of the Iran-contra operational pipeline. Also associated with the Rafsanjani bloc was Grand Ayatollah Hosein-Ali Montazeri, a once-powerful and quite liberal mullah who was exiled to Qom and house arrest by Khamenei. Earlier, Montazeri's chief aide, Mehdi Hashemi, was accused of leaking information on Rafsanjani's connections to the Iran-contra scandal and he was executed as a counter-revolutionary in 1987.

It is noteworthy that the CIA document states that the second, Rafsanjani-Montazeri group had the "backing of fanatic terrorist organizations." In fact, the more radical policies came out of the first group that included Khamenei and the now-"moderate" Mousavi. Nevertheless, from the Iran-contra scandal to the secret U.S. arming of Iran, the CIA had its links to both blocs. The relationships built between the CIA and the Khamenei-Mousavi and Rafsanjani blocs in the 1980s may continue with the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad bloc today.

Although the Mossad and CIA were heavily involved in the secret Iran-contra arms shipments to Iran during the 1980s, the CIA document also reveals that an Italian middleman named "Seratore" was involved in secret negotiations to provide Iran with weapons, including tanks from Argentina and armored personnel carriers from Italy.