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Russia, China seek info on US drone held by Iran

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

April 19, 2012

Yahoo News

TEHRAN, Iran (AP)— Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency says Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on a U.S. drone captured by the Islamic Republic in December.

The Thursday report quotes Ahmad Karimpour, an adviser to Iran’s defense minister, as saying Tehran has received requests for many countries for information on the RQ-170 Sentinel, but Moscow and Beijing have been most aggressive in their pursuit of details on the drone. He did not elaborate.

Iran said in December that it had downed the unmanned stealth aircraft in eastern Iran.

U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone. They have said Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.


Iran to Return U.S. Drone, but Only a Toy Model of It

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012



By: Reza Kahlili

The Iranian state-owned radio in a mocking tone announced that Iran will give back the U.S. drone to America, but it will be a toy model 1/80th the size of the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone. The model will be sent to the White House, the announcement said.

Iranian leaders made the decision in response to a request by U.S. President Barack Obama for the return of the drone, which Tehran says was detected and brought down over the eastern part of Iran some 140 miles from the Afghan border by the Revolutionary Guards.

The announcement also stated that the toy model will go on sale in Iran for about 70,000 Iranian rials, about $3.

The state-owned media in Iran also touched on a recent letter sent by Obama to the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, clarifying the U.S. position on the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, offering for the second time to establish a hotline to avoid any misconception and a possible conflict. This is the second time the Obama administration has requested a hotline between the two countries. After the initial request, the Iranian leaders rejected the idea and announced that the only hotline they will agree to will be the one when they have their vessels present in the Gulf of Mexico.

Iranian political analysts called Obama’s request a verification of the regime’s power and an acknowledgement by the U.S. that Iran has the capability to close the strait.

Esmayeel Kosari , vice chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, stated that the Iranian armed forces are not only capable of closing down the Strait of Hormuz but will certainly do so if Iran comes under threat. In an interview with Fars News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, Kosari warned that the closure of the strait would paralyze the global economy.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).


Iran Escalates Its Warlike Belligerence over Persian Gulf

Friday, January 6th, 2012

PJ Media

By: Reza Kahlili


The Revolutionary Guards will soon stage their most massive naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions between Iran and the United States.

According to Fars News Agency, the mouthpiece of the Revolutionary Guards, Vahidi stated that “The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps plans to conduct its greatest naval war games in the same region in the near future. Iran is the most important power in the region, playing a significant role in protecting the security of the area.”

The Revolutionary Guards’ Navy commander, Gen. Ali Fadavi, said he’s received orders for Guards naval units to conduct a massive military exercise, codenamed Payambar e Azam (the Great Prophet), next month in the Persian Gulf.

Fadavi bragged that the Islamic Republic of Iran has full control of the waterways of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and warned America to remember the bitterness of the Iraqi attack on the billion-dollar USS Stark in 1987 in the Persian Gulf in which 37 sailors were killed on the U.S. warship. The Stark later had to be scrapped.

America should also remember, Fadavi said, that during that Iran-Iraq war attack, not only was the U.S. Navy not able to protect oil tankers in the Gulf, but it could not even protect itself — and that was when Iran did not have the power it does today.

Fadavi said the next round of war games would be “different” from previous ones and that the world will witness the full power of the Revolutionary Guards.

Considering that America chose to run from Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and soon Afghanistan, Fadavi asked, how can it guarantee the security of the Strait of Hormuz? “If they choose war,” Fadavi said, “the world economy will collapse and will not be able to absorb the closure of the Strait of Hormuz by our forces, and that America should know, we will hit America and the Americans from everywhere while they won’t be able to easily locate us.”

Iran wrapped up 10-day naval drills in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman on Tuesday.

Speaking after the drill, Gen. Vahidi said the country has been successful in its pursuit of maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil route. An estimated 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supply passes through the waterway.

The Islamic Republic’s military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the U.S. or Israel, Iran would target 32 American military bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. As I revealed recently in “The Coming War with Iran,” the Revolutionary Guards have mapped out all U.S. bases in the region for an attack in case of war.

In its most direct threat, Iran’s army chief, Ataollah Salehi, on Tuesday warned the U.S. not to return a U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. “I advise, recommend and warn them (the Americans) over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once,” Salehi said.

Many of the officials and commanders of the Islamic regime in Iran are either wanted by Interpol or various courts around the world for terrorist activities and acts of assassination on Iranian opposition. Iran’s defense minister, Gen. Vahidi, is on the Interpol most-wanted list for his role in the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires 1994, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds injured.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).


Iran to pursue drone invasion in international courts

Saturday, December 17th, 2011
Sat, 12/17/2011
Ali Akbar Salehi

Iran’s Foreign Minister has announced that Iran will pursue what it calls the U.S. invasion of Iranian airspace “in the framework of the international conventions and defend the rights of its people.”

Last Sunday, Iranian military forces reported that they had downed a U.S. RQ-170 spy drone with minimal damage.

In an interview with IRNA, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi siad U.S. authorities have sent a message through the Swiss embassy calling for the return of the drone.

Salehi said the Supreme Council of National Security will make the final decision about the drone.

The drone entered Iran through Afghanistan’s border. Salehi added that Iran has urged Afghanistan to investigate the matter to prevent a recurrence of this “hostile act.”

Salehi said that because the drone’s border crossing is considered an “invasion” of Iranian territory, Iran has written letters of complaint to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement.

He added that Iran also plans to file a complaint in international courts.

Iran Warns of Downing Other U.S. Drones in Its Skies Read

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Published December 16, 2011

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran will hunt down more American spy drones if the U.S. continues to violate its air space, a senior Iranian military official warned Friday, the latest in triumphant rhetoric from Tehran over the capture of the unmanned aircraft two weeks ago.

Rear Adm. Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s former defense minister, said Iran won’t remain inactive to future incursions by foreign surveillance drones.

“If U.S. spy planes continue their aggression, we won’t be idle,” Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. “We will continue to hunt down their spy planes,”

The comments were in response to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who said Wednesday during a visit to Afghanistan — from where the drone flew out — that the United States will continue to conduct intelligence operations such as the one that led to the loss of its RQ-170 Sentinel over Iran.

Iran has displayed the pilotless U.S. aircraft it captured over the country’s east as a feat of its military in a complicated battle of technology and intelligence with America, and has rejected a formal U.S. request to return the drone, calling its incursion an “invasion” and a “hostile act.”

Shamkhani, who currently runs an Iranian military strategic studies center, claimed the fact that Iran brought down the pilotless surveillance aircraft nearly intact proves his nation’s technological prowess.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s capture of this spy drone shows the high capabilities of our armed forces,” he said.

American officials have said that U.S. intelligence assessments indicate that Iran neither shot the drone down, nor used electronic or cybertechnology to force it from the sky. They contend the drone malfunctioned.

On Thursday, Tehran demanded that Afghanistan stop allowing the U.S. to use bases in the country to launch drone flights over Iran. Iran has said the drone was detected over the eastern town of Kashmar, some 140 miles from the Afghan border. Iranian state TV broadcast video last week of Iranian military officials inspecting the Sentinel.

American author and terrorism expert, Rachel Ehrenfeld, argues that the U.S. needs to keep spying on Iran but lamented the capture of the almost intact drone by the Iranians.

“I surely hope the U.S. is using all kind of techniques to spy on Iran. It’s our enemy,” she wrote in an email to The Associated Press in Tehran. “The shock is that President (Barack Obama) did not order the immediate destruction of the drone, instead he gave away one of the U.S. most advanced spying technologies.”


Iran Official: Obama under Intense Mental Pressure

Friday, December 16th, 2011


By: Reza Kahlili

According to PressTV, the mouthpiece of the Iranian revolutionary guards, a senior Iranian military commander says US President Barack Obama’s recent plea to Tehran to return the RQ-170 spy drone is a sign of extreme psychological pressure on American leaders.

“In his words, Obama showed to the entire world what kind of logic he uses to govern America,” Brigadier General Mehdi Mahdavinejad, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, said on Friday.

“Americans never imagined such security and intelligence scandal because they did not have a correct understanding of Iran’s might in electronic [warfare],” Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying on Friday.

Mahdavinejad also stated that many senior US military officials believe that invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US has been fruitless.

“Such measures prove the lack of wisdom and low intellect of America’s leaders who after several years of presence in these countries [Iraq and Afghanistan], must now withdraw their forces from Iraq with humiliation and will certainly have to do the same in Afghanistan in future,” he said.

The IRGC commander added that US efforts to create crisis in other countries have backfired and the Occupy Wall Street movement is currently targeting America’s capitalist system.

Iranian officials claim that the US RQ-170 spy drone crossed Afghanistan’s border with Iran on December 4, but was successfully brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit. The aircraft was flying over the northeastern Iran city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) away from the Afghan border.

Following days of silence on the capture and unveiling of spy drone by Iranian armed forces, US President Barack Obama claimed on December 12 that Washington has asked Tehran to return the US reconnaissance drone.

“We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” he added in a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Washington.

High-ranking Iranian officials, including Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi ( He is wanted by the Interpol for the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994)  have announced that the spy plane will remain in Iran’s possession to undergo reverse engineering.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

In a report published on December 14, 2011, the Iranian officials announced that soon Iran will put up on display other foreign drones in its possession!

Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The Christian Science Monitor

In an exclusive interview, an engineer working to unlock the secrets of the captured RQ-170 Sentinel says they exploited a known vulnerability and tricked the US drone into landing in Iran.

By Scott Peterson, Staff writer, Payam Faramarzi*, Correspondent / December 15, 2011


Iran guided the CIA‘s “lost” stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone’s systems inside Iran.

Iranian electronic warfare specialists were able to cut off communications links of the American bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel, says the engineer, who works for one of many Iranian military and civilian teams currently trying to unravel the drone’s stealth and intelligence secrets, and who could not be named for his safety.

Using knowledge gleaned from previous downed American drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfigured the drone’s GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan.

“The GPS navigation is the weakest point,” the Iranian engineer told the Monitor, giving the most detailed description yet published of Iran’s “electronic ambush” of the highly classified US drone. “By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.”

The “spoofing” technique that the Iranians used – which took into account precise landing altitudes, as well as latitudinal and longitudinal data – made the drone “land on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications” from the US control center, says the engineer.

The revelations about Iran’s apparent electronic prowess come as the US, Israel, and some European nations appear to be engaged in an ever-widening covert war with Iran, which has seen assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, explosions at Iran’s missile and industrial facilities, and the Stuxnet computer virus that set back Iran’s nuclear program.

Now this engineer’s account of how Iran took over one of America’s most sophisticated drones suggests Tehran has found a way to hit back. The techniques were developed from reverse-engineering several less sophisticated American drones captured or shot down in recent years, the engineer says, and by taking advantage of weak, easily manipulated GPS signals, which calculate location and speed from multiple satellites.

Western military experts and a number of published papers on GPS spoofing indicate that the scenario described by the Iranian engineer is plausible.

“Even modern combat-grade GPS [is] very susceptible” to manipulation, says former US Navyelectronic warfare specialist Robert Densmore, adding that it is “certainly possible” to recalibrate the GPS on a drone so that it flies on a different course. “I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but the technology is there.”

In 2009, Iran-backed Shiite militants in Iraq were found to have downloaded live, unencrypted video streams from American Predator drones with inexpensive, off-the-shelf software. But Iran’s apparent ability now to actually take control of a drone is far more significant.

Iran asserted its ability to do this in September, as pressure mounted over its nuclear program.

Gen. Moharam Gholizadeh, the deputy for electronic warfare at the air defense headquarters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), described to Fars News how Iran could alter the path of a GPS-guided missile – a tactic more easily applied to a slower-moving drone.

“We have a project on hand that is one step ahead of jamming, meaning ‘deception’ of the aggressive systems,” said Gholizadeh, such that “we can define our own desired information for it so the path of the missile would change to our desired destination.”

Gholizadeh said that “all the movements of these [enemy drones]” were being watched, and “obstructing” their work was “always on our agenda.”

That interview has since been pulled from Fars’ Persian-language website. And last month, the relatively young Gholizadeh died of a heart attack, which some Iranian news sites called suspicious – suggesting the electronic warfare expert may have been a casualty in the covert war against Iran.

Iran’s growing electronic capabilities

Iranian lawmakers say the drone capture is a “great epic” and claim to be “in the final steps of breaking into the aircraft’s secret code.”

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Fox News on Dec. 13 that the US will “absolutely” continue the drone campaign over Iran, looking for evidence of any nuclear weapons work. But the stakes are higher for such surveillance, now that Iran can apparently disrupt the work of US drones.

US officials skeptical of Iran’s capabilities blame a malfunction, but so far can’t explain how Iran acquired the drone intact. One American analyst ridiculed Iran’s capability, telling Defense News that the loss was “like dropping a Ferrari into an ox-cart technology culture.”

Yet Iran’s claims to the contrary resonate more in light of new details about how it brought down the drone – and other markers that signal growing electronic expertise.

A former senior Iranian official who asked not to be named said: “There are a lot of human resources in Iran…. Iran is not like Pakistan.”

“Technologically, our distance from the Americans, the Zionists, and other advanced countries is not so far to make the downing of this plane seem like a dream for us … but it could be amazing for others,” deputy IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami said this week.

According to a European intelligence source, Iran shocked Western intelligence agencies in a previously unreported incident that took place sometime in the past two years, when it managed to “blind” a CIA spy satellite by “aiming a laser burst quite accurately.”

More recently, Iran was able to hack Google security certificates, says the engineer. In September, the Google accounts of 300,000 Iranians were made accessible by hackers. The targeted company said “circumstantial evidence” pointed to a “state-driven attack” coming from Iran, meant to snoop on users.

Cracking the protected GPS coordinates on the Sentinel drone was no more difficult, asserts the engineer.

US knew of GPS systems’ vulnerability

Use of drones has become more risky as adversaries like Iran hone countermeasures. The US military has reportedly been aware of vulnerabilities with pirating unencrypted drone data streams since the Bosnia campaign in the mid-1990s.

Top US officials said in 2009 that they were working to encrypt all drone data streams in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan – after finding militant laptops loaded with days’ worth of data in Iraq – and acknowledged that they were “subject to listening and exploitation.”

Perhaps as easily exploited are the GPS navigational systems upon which so much of the modern military depends.

“GPS signals are weak and can be easily outpunched [overridden] by poorly controlled signals from television towers, devices such as laptops and MP3 players, or even mobile satellite services,” Andrew Dempster, a professor from the University of New South Wales School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems, told a March conference on GPS vulnerability inAustralia.

“This is not only a significant hazard for military, industrial, and civilian transport and communication systems, but criminals have worked out how they can jam GPS,” he says.

The US military has sought for years to fortify or find alternatives to the GPS system of satellites, which are used for both military and civilian purposes. In 2003, a “Vulnerability Assessment Team” at Los Alamos National Laboratory published research explaining how weak GPS signals were easily overwhelmed with a stronger local signal.

“A more pernicious attack involves feeding the GPS receiver fake GPS signals so that it believes it is located somewhere in space and time that it is not,” reads the Los Alamos report. “In a sophisticated spoofing attack, the adversary would send a false signal reporting the moving target’s true position and then gradually walk the target to a false position.”

The vulnerability remains unresolved, and a paperpresented at a Chicago communications security conference in October laid out parameters for successful spoofing of both civilian and military GPS units to allow a “seamless takeover” of drones or other targets.

To “better cope with hostile electronic attacks,” the US Air Force in late September awarded two $47 million contracts to develop a “navigation warfare” system to replace GPS on aircraft and missiles, according to the Defense Update website.

Official US data on GPS describes “the ongoing GPS modernization program” for the Air Force, which “will enhance the jam resistance of the military GPS service, making it more robust.”

Why the drone’s underbelly was damaged

Iran’s drone-watching project began in 2007, says the Iranian engineer, and then was stepped up and became public in 2009 – the same year that the RQ-170 was first deployed in Afghanistan with what were then state-of-the-art surveillance systems.

In January, Iran said it had shot down two conventional (nonstealth) drones, and in July, Iran showed Russian experts several US drones – including one that had been watching over the underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.

In capturing the stealth drone this month at Kashmar, 140 miles inside northeast Iran, the Islamic Republic appears to have learned from two years of close observation.

Iran displayed the drone on state-run TV last week, with a dent in the left wing and the undercarriage and landing gear hidden by anti-American banners.

The Iranian engineer explains why: “If you look at the location where we made it land and the bird’s home base, they both have [almost] the same altitude,” says the Iranian engineer. “There was a problem [of a few meters] with the exact altitude so the bird’s underbelly was damaged in landing; that’s why it was covered in the broadcast footage.”

Prior to the disappearance of the stealth drone earlier this month, Iran’s electronic warfare capabilities were largely unknown – and often dismissed.

“We all feel drunk [with happiness] now,” says the Iranian engineer. “Have you ever had a new laptop? Imagine that excitement multiplied many-fold.” When the Revolutionary Guard first recovered the drone, they were aware it might be rigged to self-destruct, but they “were so excited they could not stay away.”

Scott Peterson, the Monitor’s Middle East correspondent, wrote this story with an Iranian journalist who publishes under the pen name Payam Faramarzi and cannot be further identified for security reasons.





China Is Helping to Arm Iran and Sidestep Sanctions Thanks to an Assist From North Korea

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011


Published December 14, 2011


China is circumventing international sanctions against Iran by enlisting North Korea’s help in providing the Islamic state with its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles and the technical expertise to make those nuclear warhead-capable missiles operational. And now the Communist giant is threatening to come to Iran’s defense should the missile or nuclear sites be attacked.

Referring this critical problem to the United Nations won’t work because China has veto power in the Security Council.

The United States and the West must therefore bring all the pressure to bear against China they can — and do it immediately.

Time literally is running out.

The Revolutionary Guards, under orders from the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have long been preparing for war, knowing that their nuclear bomb program could invite a preemptive strike by Israel or America.

Media outlets quote Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhang Zhaozhong as warning that in case of attack, China should not hesitate to protect Iran, even if it means launching World War III.

The Iranian-owned state media ran big headlines recently quoting Chinese President Hu Jintao as saying that he has ordered the Chinese Navy to prepare for war and that, in case of an attack on Iran, China will defend Iran.

When Mohammad Ali Jafari was appointed the chief commander of the Guards by Khamenei in September 2007, he formed 31 command-and-control centers in and around Iran that could operate independently in case of war. Each center is authorized to suppress any unrest and to confront any enemy.

Jafari also brought Iran’s Basij militia — a group of pro-government vigilantes — under Guard command to ensure greater coordination while at the same time forming thousands of Basij special units to suppress any uprisings that could arise after a possible attack.

Expecting war, Jafari weeks ago ordered the formation of the 32nd command-and-control center just for the security of Tehran, the capital of Iran. Now the Guards have assigned two divisions to protect Tehran.

The Guards at the same time have established hundreds of underground ballistic missile silos across Iran to achieve two goals:

First, these missiles, which have predetermined targets, could be fired from multiple sites toward an enemy.

Second, multiple hidden sites would make it difficult for satellites to pinpoint any launch and therefore lower the possibility of the missiles being taken out prior to launch.

The Guards have openly announced that American military bases will be targeted in retaliation for any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Sources within Iran reveal that U.S. military bases in FranceHungaryItaly and Germany are among the targets.

As I revealed in May, the Guards possess ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads that have a range of over 2,000 miles, which could reach several capitals in Western Europe. The opposition group Green Experts of Iran now reports that the Guards have also obtained intercontinental ballistic missiles from China.

In recent years, the Revolutionary Guards put everything they had into boosting their military capabilities by developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

But they failed.

They then turned to China, which delivered to Iran 11 Dong Feng 3A missiles whose range exceeds 1,600 miles.

By 2009, concurrent with the increased in tensions between Iran and the international community, as well as the intensity of the unrest inside Iran, the Guards began talks with China and finalized an $11 billion deal in which China agreed to provide the Guards with advanced ICBMs, DF-31s, which have a minimum 4,300-mile range and can carry nuclear warheads.

China also agreed to help design several of Iran’s missile programs and provide expert training inside Iran. The contract called for delivery of six ICBMs, six mobile units for the missiles and 40 blast chambers to be assembled by the Revolutionary Guards inside a military complex.

Sources reveal that the missiles were delivered about a year ago, but the Guards failed in setting this missile project in motion.

Given the mounting international pressures against Iran’s nuclear program, even China announced it cannot further cooperate in Iran’s militaristic ambitions — unless sanctions can be circumvented.

According to the Green Experts, in order to resolve the basic problems of the missile project, a joint delegation of Chinese and North Korean experts traveled to Iran. Ultimately it was agreed that in exchange for $7 billion, hardware, installation and launch of the technology and the necessary training for the project would be handled by the North Koreans, since Pyongyang doesn’t recognize the U.N. sanctions.

North Korea, for its part, guaranteed that it would do its utmost in bolstering the Chinese-equipped missile project, and eventually situate its experts in Iran so that in critical conditions, the missiles will remain operational.

It is now logical to conclude that the explosions that occurred at the IRGC base 28 miles west of Tehran on Nov. 12 were due to Iranian missile experts working on the Chinese DF-31 missile.

Sources reveal that following the explosions at the Guards’ base and the loss of many key commanders running the missile program, a meeting was organized between the Revolutionary Guards and representatives of North Korea. It was agreed at that meeting that North Korea would expedite sending their missile experts to Iran — as of Dec. 10 — to get the missile system up and running.

With the Obama administration and European countries failing to implement crippling sanctions against Iran and openly stating that a military option could be devastating to the global economy, it seems that the radicals ruling Iran will soon not only have nuclear bombs but also the means to deliver them almost anywhere on the globe. There’s no time to waste.

Reza Kahlili, a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book,A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).



Foreign spy drones in Iran’s possession to be put on display: report

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011


According to MehrNews.Com, the mouthpiece of Iran’s Islamic regime, Iran plans to put foreign spy drones it has in its possession on display in the near future.

The report claims that the latest domestically manufactured electronic warfare equipment will also be put on show at the exhibition and national reporters and foreign ambassadors based in Tehran will be allowed to visit the exhibition.

According to MehrNews, the foreign unmanned aircraft that Iran has are four Israeli and three U.S. drones. The four Israeli drones that are now in Iran’s possession had violated the country’s airspace along the eastern borders, and the three U.S. unmanned aircraft had penetrated into the country’s airspace along either the eastern or southern borders.

In an interview published on January 2, 2011, the commander of the Aerospace Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, announced that the Iranian military forces had brought down two foreign spy planes over the Persian Gulf, not mentioning the exact date and location of the events.

“They (the Westerners) have made limited aggressions against the country and we have shot down a number of their highly advanced spy planes so far. For example, we have brought down two spy planes over the Persian Gulf,” Hajizadeh said at the time.

“We have constant clashes with the enemy’s surveillance and reconnaissance aircrafts,” Hajizadeh stated, adding that the Iranian experts had reverse engineered and manufactured some of the planes that had been shot down.

In addition, Hajizadeh announced on June 28, 2011 that Russian experts had inspected the two foreign spy planes, which he said belonged to the United States.

Hajizadeh said at the time that Russian experts had requested Iran to inspect the places where the planes were shot down.


Iran Lodges Complaint With Interpol Over U.S. ‘Assassination Threats’

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

By Patrick Goodenough

December 13, 2011

(CNSNews.com) – The Iranian government has lodged a complaint with Interpol regarding comments made during U.S. congressional hearings last October, including calls to assassinate top figures in Tehran’s terror-sponsoring security apparatus.

Iran’s national prosecutor general, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, in a letter to Interpol on Monday called for “legal action” against two Americans, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Mohseni-Ejei told Iran’s Press TV that the judiciary had opened a case and was “providing more documents to the Interpol, so that the two Americans, who have threatened the Iranian commander with assassination, would be prosecuted.”

Interpol does not “prosecute” criminal suspects but it is empowered to issue “red notices” – equivalent to placing a suspect on a most-wanted list – at the request of member states or international organizations.

Queries sent to Interpol about the Iranian request brought no response by press time.

The two Americans in Iran’s sights are former U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane and Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA operative.

The controversy dates back to an Oct. 26 House Homeland Security Committee subcommittee hearing on “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil,” held after the exposure of an alleged plot by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations wing, the Qods Force, to carry out terror attacks on U.S. soil, including the assassination of the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

The IRGC-QF, led for the past decade by Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, stands accused of numerous covert terrorist activities, including supporting Shi’ite militias carry out deadly attacks against U.S. and British troops in Iraq.

In his testimony, Keane questioned the value of sanctions against Tehran and suggested that cyberattacks, covert actions and assassination would be more effective.

“Why are we permitting the Qods Force leaders, who have been organizing this killing of us for 30 years, to go around, still walking around?” he asked. “Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organizations against the United States. These guys have killed almost a thousand of us. Why don’t we kill them?”

“Iran would not look like the country it is today if they were concerned about the bottom line,” Gerecht told the panel. “So I don’t think that you’re going to really intimidate these people, get their attention, unless you shoot somebody – it’s pretty blunt, but I don’t think you get to get around it.”

If the IRGC-QF was held responsible for the foiled assassination plot, Gerecht said, then Soleimani should be held accountable – and targeted.

“Ghasem Soleimani travels a lot, he’s all over the place,” he said. “Go get him. Either try to capture him, or kill him. I think you have to send a pretty powerful message to those who have undertaken this, or I think down the road you’re asking for it. They will read this not as a response of someone who’s strong, but as a response of someone who’s weak.”

‘Significant covert action’

Iranian media reports on the Interpol request also referred to a letter to President Obama last month in which House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Peter King and two subcommittee chairs urged steps against Tehran including “significant covert action against the Iranian regime, including against facilities and personnel responsible for killing our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

At the time of the hearing, the Iranian government reacted angrily to the comments by Keane and Gerecht, summoning the Swiss ambassador – who handles matters relating to the U.S. in the absence of ties between Washington and Tehran – to protest.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi threatened legal action and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the remarks were part of a “devilish triangle of terrorism, human rights violation and use of WMDs” by the U.S.

Ironically, while Iran is seeking Interpol’s help in this matter it has for more than four years ignored Interpol red notices issued for five senior Iranian officials, wanted by Argentina in connection with a deadly bombing in Buenos Aires Argentina 17 years ago.

One of the five is Vahidi, now defense minister but at the time of the bombing the head of the IRGC-QF.

Interpol in 2007 issued red notices for five Iranians and a Lebanese in connection with the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) building in the Argentine capital.

Argentine investigators accused Iran of ordering the attack and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, of carrying it out. Eighty-five people were killed in the blast, the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history.

Iran has repeatedly denied any link to the AMIA bombing and refused to cooperate with Interpol.

The other subjects of the red notices are Mohsen Rezai, the then IRGC commander; Ali Fallahijan, Iran’s then intelligence chief; and Mohsen Rabbani and Ahmad Reza Asghari, two officials based at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires at the time of the bombing.

The wanted Lebanese was Hezbollah terrorist chief Imad Mughniyah, who was later killed in a bomb blast in Syria.

According to Interpol, red notices do not constitute arrest warrants but are “intended to help police identify or locate these individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition.”

The organization says many of its 190 member countries “consider a red notice a valid request for provisional arrest, especially if they are linked to the requesting country via a bilateral extradition treaty.”

Interpol’s constitution prohibits “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

Attempts to reach Gen. Keane for a response were not successful and a spokesman for Gerecht said he was not commenting on the issue.


Ahmadinejad: Iran has ‘been able to control’ U.S. drone

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:22 AM EST, Tue December 13, 2011

(CNN) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that his country has “been able to control” the U.S. drone that Iran claims it recently brought down, Venezuelan state TV reported.

“There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane,” Ahmadinejad told VTV. “Those who have been in control of this spy plane surely will analyze the plane’s system. Furthermore, the systems of Iran are so advanced also, like the system of this plane.”

Ahmadinejad did not elaborate or specify what precisely he meant when he referred to people “who have been able to control” the drone. He spoke in Farsi, which VTV translated into Spanish. The Farsi portion of the interview was not audible.

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has asked Iran to return the drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down in Iranian territory.

“We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said.

Ahmadinejad’s comments to VTV seemed to suggest that Iran did not plan to return the aircraft.

“The North Americans at best have decided to give us this spy plane,” Ahmadinejad said. “In the unpiloted planes, we have had many advances, much progress and now we have this spy plane.”

Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said the drone no longer belongs to Washington.

“The U.S. spy plane is among the assets of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Vahidi told reporters Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. “Our country will decide what to do with it.”

The United States owes Iran an apology and needs to admit its crime, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday, the Iranian Students’ News Agency report.

“The U.S. should know that what it did regarding violation of our air space can put international peace and security in danger,” he said. “The U.S. should take responsibility for the consequences of the measure.”

American officials have not confirmed that the drone shown in a video released last Thursday by Iranian media is a U.S. aircraft. But Pentagon spokesman George Little has said that an American drone is missing and had not been recovered.

Two U.S. officials have confirmed to CNN that the missing drone was part of a CIA reconnaissance mission that involved both the intelligence community and military personnel stationed in Afghanistan.

Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency said the country’s armed forces had downed the drone near Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the border with Afghanistan on December 4.

The Ahmadinejad interview was aired in Venezuela Monday night.


Iran Dismisses U.S. Request To Return Spy Drone

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


December 13, 2011

Iran has dismissed a U.S. request expressed by President Barack Obama to return a U.S. drone that Iranian officials say was captured in Iranian airspace by its armed forces.

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the United States should apologize for invading Iranian airspace instead of asking for the return of the unmanned aircraft.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the U.S. violated international laws and the Iranian airspace.

“Mr. Obama has requested for the spy plane to be returned to the U.S.,” Mehmanparast said. “It seems that he has forgotten that our airspace was violated. A spying operation was conducted, and international law has been violated.”

Iran says the surveillance aircraft was detected in Iranian airspace and brought down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps some 225 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.

State television aired footage of officials standing next to the craft with banners taunting the U.S. splashed under it.

compiled from agency reports


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