Mike Ledeen at NRO is shilling for war with Iran as usual.
(Another) Iranian Military Officer Captured in Iran [Michael Ledeen]You would think, from Ledeen, that it was an open-and-shut case, right?
So reports CNN. There must be enough of them by now to open a day care center. This guy was apparently smuggling bombs into the country.
Not quite. The CNN link he provides his readers is the least informative version of this story.
Reuters has some factual details:
The U.S. military on Thursday arrested an Iranian man they accused of smuggling roadside bombs into Iraq and training foreign fighters, but Iraqi and Iranian officials said he was a member of a trade delegation.Two others were also arrested at the same time, but have been released already according to the AP:
U.S. soldiers raided a hotel in Sulaimaniya in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan and took the man into custody, accusing him of being a member of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
..."Contrary to recent diplomatic initiatives, this individual has been involved in transporting improvised explosive devices and explosively formed penetrators into Iraq," the U.S. military said in a statement.
"Intelligence reports also indicate he was involved in the infiltration and training of foreign terrorists in Iraq."
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted an unnamed official from the governor's office of the province of Kermanshah, which neighbours Iraqi Kurdistan, as saying the detained man was a businessman.
"He was a member of a trade and economic delegation that was supposed to follow up agreements made between the two sides over the transfer of fuel from Kermanshah to Sulaimaniya," the source told Fars.
The local Kurdish-led government was not notified of the operation in advance, he added.So there's no actual evidence being presented, just allegations. The locals say it's a case of mistaken identity and it seems mistaken identity covers the two others detained.
A Kurdish official in the city, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that initially three Iranians were arrested but two were later released.
The three included the mayor of Qasr-e Shirin, a city close to the Iraqi border; the head of an office in the city that gives permits to Iranian merchants traveling to northern Iraq; and a merchant, the official said.
The official, from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, said the person kept in custody was the head of the merchant permits office. He did not identify any of the Iranians.
I'm thinking this sounds very like the case of the Iranian electrical workers falsely accused and then released at the end of August.
The trouble with these arrests is that often the intelligence which sparks them comes from the utterly-nutterly MeK terror group. The neocons' favorite Saddam henchmen are also not only behind the information that sparked the arrests but according to local reports are also being used to conduct interrogations on behalf of the U.S. military in the case of the five Iranians detained in Irbil in January.
There is an Axis of Evil comprising neocons with a decades-old axe to grind against hostage-taking Iran, US-based regime change groups who intend making out like bandits (or Iraqi ministers) when they are handed power and the terrorist Islamomarxists of the MeK who believe their own leader is the 12th Imam. Between them, they are deliberately trying to mislead the American public and world opinion into supporting war with Iran. The Iranian regime is odious, it is true, but any replacement regime supported by and sourced from these groups would be far worse. Unfortunately, their ties to the current administration, especially the Fourth Branch, mean the U.S. military has been deceived by fixed intelligence into doing their shilling for them.