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Retired colonel claims U.S. military operations are already 'underway' in Iran

Ron Brynaert
Published: Saturday April 15, 2006

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During an interview on CNN Friday night, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner claimed that U.S. military operations are already 'underway' inside Iran, RAW STORY has found.

"I would say -- and this may shock some -- I think the decision has been made and military operations are under way," Col. Gardiner told CNN International anchor Jim Clancy (as noted by Digby at the blog Hullabaloo).

(Crooks and Liars has a video clip of the interview)

Gardiner, who designed a war game in November of 2004 for Atlantic Magazine ("Will Iran be next?") which simulated "preparations for a U.S. assault on Iran," also claimed that Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told him a few weeks ago that units who had attacked the Revolutionary Guard had been captured and confessed to working with Americans.

"The secretary point is, the Iranians have been saying American military troops are in there, have been saying it for almost a year," Gardiner said. "I was in Berlin two weeks ago, sat next to the ambassador, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. And I said, 'Hey, I hear you're accusing Americans of being in there operating with some of the units that have shot up revolution guard units.'"

"He said, quite frankly, 'Yes, we know they are. We've captured some of the units, and they've confessed to working with the Americans,'" said the retired Air Force colonel.

Last Thursday, Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna reported (On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say) that, according to former and current intelligence officials, the Pentagon has been using a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) as an operational asset "to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack."

"[I]nstead of securing a known terrorist organization, which has been responsible for acts of terror against Iranian targets and individuals all over the world – including US civilian and military casualties – Rumsfeld under instructions from Cheney, began using the group on special ops missions into Iran to pave the way for a potential Iran strike," Larisa reported.

"They are doing whatever they want, no oversight at all,” an intelligence source told Larisa.

Larisa reported that the MEK soldiers were told to "quit" their organization and were "renamed" in accordance with a plan conceived by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld so that they could be "converted" into a military special ops team.

According to a UN official close to the Security Council whom Larisa interviewed, the "newly renamed MEK soldiers" were being employed in the place of U.S. military advance teams to commit "acts of violence in hopes of staging an insurgency of the Iranian Sunni population."

“We are already at war,” the UN official told RAW STORY.