US, Israel seek regime change in Iran – Former CIA officer

Iranian claims a man it identified as a missing nuclear scientist had been abducted and taken to the United States by the CIA.

Shahram Amiri disappeared while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009. At the time it was reported by US media that Amiri had defected to the US and was assisting the CIA undermine Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran contended that he was abducted by the US. Amiri is reportedly living in the US state of Arizona. 

“It’s quite possible that both [stories] have a grain of truth,” said retired CIA officer and political activist Raymond McGovern.

Amiri made video transmissions stating at different times that he was happy in Arizona and another saying he was tortured. In the past, the CIA has been found guilty of kidnapping individuals.

McGovern finds it telling that the US would resort to such outlandish measures to learn about the Iranian nuclear program.

“Iran had stopped work on the nuclear warhead part of its program. When? In the fall of 2003. Nothing has changed that estimate,” said McGovern.

McGovern argues that the Brazil-brokered Turkey-Iran fuel swap deal that pulls uranium out of Iran, should make both Israel and United States happy. The reduction in uranium in Iran lessens any weapons threat, yet both nations are still calling for sanctions.

“That betokens an overweening desire, not out of fear for a nuclear weapon, but out of a determination to cause what we now call regime change, which in my day was called overthrowing governments, namely the government of the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad,” said McGovern.

While history has shown the US has used these tactics, many in the United States do not believe the CIA or the US government generally would choose to kidnap individuals and bring them to the US. McGovern argues they simply aren’t paying attention to information available to them.

“Most Americans look at what we call mainstream media, what I call fawning corporate media since these channels and websites and so forth are controlled by the corporations, and they think they are getting informed. If you spend an evening watching Fox News you’re not getting informed,” said McGovern.

McGovern argues that people need to utilize the tools are their disposal on the Internet to find more news instead of accepting the standard story from the mainstream press.

Amiri, if he is indeed in the US and under CIA protection, will likely be given a new identity, protection, and a new life. Eventually he may choose to defect back to Iran, said McGovern.

McGovern believed Amiri was likely kidnapped and imprisoned by CIA. However, McGovern also thinks that Amiri is likely cooperating of his own accord and may or may not have information on whether Iran has continued or re-started a nuclear weapons program.

“It’s not an Iranian weapon that Israel is concerned about nor the US. What they’re concerned about is causing regime change. They hope to do that by sanctions, and failing that military action. We have to be careful of that because there is a rogue, unpredictable nuclear armed regime in the Middle East now and it’s not Iran, it’s Israel,” said McGovern.