Faster, Please!

I Told You There Would be Defections...

Have a look at this fun story from the Turkish press:

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NKARA – Turkish Daily News
Ankara’s diplomatic and political circles are currently filled with gossip over a missing Iranian, thought by some to be a spy.

Iranian citizen Ali Rızari Asqhari, 63, who recently retired from the Iranian Defense Ministry, disappeared in Istanbul on Feb. 7, daily Hürriyet reported on Monday. Iran has made a diplomatic move, yesterday sending a delegation to Turkey to obtain more information on the missing man.

According to the story in Hürriyet, on Feb. 6 two foreign citizens made a reservation for Asqhari for three nights in the Ceylan Hotel, paying cash. Asqhari then arrived in Istanbul on Feb. 7 and promptly vanished. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has not commented on the case, saying only that “it is very sensitive. intelligence services matter and the Interior Ministry are dealing with the issue.”

A high-level bureaucrat from the Istanbul police department said, “We are trying to find out whether he left or was taken. Interpol has issued a yellow bulletin in accordance with the requests by Iranian officials,” Hürriyet reported yesterday. The same individual reportedly added, “The lost Iranian man is someone who worked on sensitive jobs in Iran. Whether he was involved in nuclear activities is being looked into. But it is clear that since he arrived in Istanbul via Damascus he must have had a very important appointment.”

So a guy from the Iranian Defense Ministry goes missing in Istanbul, and the mullahs are concerned enough to send a team to investigate. Let’s hope the guy’s in Langley, and that he knows something useful.

Or maybe he’s in Lodon. Or Jerusalem. That’s fine too.

It’s a symptom of a regime that is clearly under great stress, and not coping particularly well.