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'We assassinated Turkish journalists,' says Iranian CIA agent

Istanbul - Hürriyet | 7/18/2010 12:00:00 AM | Tolga Tanış

former CIA agent working within Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and author of a book named “A time to betray,” claimed that some unnamed Turkish journalists were assassined by an Iranian specialist military unit.

A former CIA agent working within Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and author of a book named “A time to betray,” claimed that some unnamed Turkish journalists were assassined by an Iranian specialist military unit.

Reza Kahlili, an Iranian who worked in the Revolution Guards for the CIA for 10 years, told that a group named “Branch 5000” killed Turkish journalists, in a Sunday interview on daily Hürriyet.

“Branch 5000 operated in three fields in Turkey: assassination-bombing, kidnapping and gaining sympathizers, that is, bringing new names into the organization and using Turkey as a base for action in other countries. The Iranian agents have organized tens of assassinations in the mid-90s,” Kahlili told Hürriyet.

He also said that the opponents of Iran’s regime were their first target but that secular Turkish authors had also been killed in the operation, by not mentioning any real names. Kahili said he did not know whether Branch 5000 had played any role in the assassination of Uğur Mumcu, a well-known Turkish journalist who died in a bomb explosion in 1993.

Kahili, who has never visited Turkey, said the Revolution Guards’ operations had been more active in Turkey. “Branch 5000 used to have many secured houses and places within Turkey,” he said.

Regarding Iranian nuclear physicist Şahram Amiri, who returned to Iran after living in the U.S. as an asylum seeker, Kahili said Iranian intelligence agents would kill him very soon. “He will die in a truck accident, or whatever, as the Iranian intelligence knows he has talked to the CIA,” he said, adding that he differed from Amiri in that he served the CIA while in Iran.

Kahlili’s book was published in April, triggering a wide debate in the United States.

 

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