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Iran-Iraq: Identity of released Iranian 'diplomat' revealed

An Iranian 'diplomat' recently released by the US is a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards and a top commander of the Qods Force, which aids foreign terrorist organisations, according to reliable reports received by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS).

"Majid Dagheri", real name Haji Abdulzahra Dagheri, was one of five Iranian citizens arrested by US forces in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil in January 2007. US officials claimed that they included the operations chief and other members of Iran's Qods Force who were arming local Shi'ite militias involved in operations against US forces. The Iranian government insisted they were diplomats. The men were handed over to Iran after they were transferred to the custody of the Iraqi government under the terms of an Iraq-US security accord.

Dagheri served as one of the chief commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, based in Susangerd. He became a Qods Force operative and was sent to Saudi Arabia to foment unrest within the country's Shia population. This operation was conducted to avenge the deaths of Iranian pilgrims during an anti-American protest in Mecca in 1987. He was also involved in the torture and murder of Iraqi prisoners of war who surrendered to Iran during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hassan Ghashghavi, said he was 'innocent' and 'arrested against all international regulations under the Vienna convention.'

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "It is astonishing that a well-known high-level Iranian terrorist has been released by the US and allowed to go home. It is highly likely that he will return to his job and continue to organise plots against the Arab world and Western states in order to advance the Iranian regime's political ambitions. He is far more dangerous than Al-Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who ran terrorist operations in Iraq, and the US killed him. Handing over Dagheri to Iran is a disastrous act of appeasement that will achieve nothing in terms of advancing security and democracy in the Middle East."