On Reports of Ahmadinejad’s Arrest

1 May

Approximately five hours after I published my article “Could Ahmadinejad End Up Under House Arrest?” for Al Monitor, Reza Kahlili, published an article in which he said that  Ahmadinejad had in fact been temporarily arrested on Monday. According to his “exclusive” article:

“After his visit to Tehran’s 26th international book fair Monday, the source said the head of Ahmadinejad’s security team informed the Iranian president that he had been asked to appear at the supreme leader’s office for an urgent matter.”

This story was taken up later by Las Vegas’s Guardian Express (no connections with the London Guardian).

My Take

Kahlili who according to his bio is a former CIA agent in Iran has given us false alarms before. In January this year,  Kahlili and the US based blogger Richard Silverstein both claimed a “scoop” about a mysterious explosion in Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility. Kahlili claimed that his source was a “former intelligence officer of the Iranian regime” while Silverstein claimed that he has a “highly placed Israeli source”. Both stories turned out to be bogus. According to the IAEA which inspects Fordow, there was no such explosion. It was a hoax.

Based on this and on Kahlili’s other highly questionable reports (this one about Iran working on a nuclear warhead, something which goes against the IDF intelligence assessment  that Iran has not yet decided to make a bomb), I would not give credibility to his latest report.

If and when Kahlili’s claims are corroborated by a more credible source, then I would take them seriously.

Update: as spotted by Ashkan Safaei who is a former broadcast journalist at Israel’s state Radio, Ahmadinejad was not at the Tehran book fair on Monday as Kahlili claims. He was there on Tuesday, as corroborated by local news reports.

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