Thursday, December 2, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Cda-Iran Communication - John Mundy
It has been a tough week for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All week, we have been treated to a steady stream of secret U.S. diplomatic cables ... courtesy of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
This morning we wanted to take a closer look at one particular revelations buried in the onslaught. In 2008, an American diplomat in Ottawa wrote a memo based on a debrief with Jim Judd, then the head of CSIS. According to the memo, Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security wanted its own channel of communication with Canada. And the Iranians agreed to "help" Canada by sharing information about potential attacks in Afghanistan.
The Iranian Government has a well-documented history of trampling human rights and cracking down harshly on dissidents. So the idea of sharing information with the country's intelligence agencies is a non-starter for a lot of people. But John Mundy thinks it's an idea worth considering. In 2007, he was sent to Iran to be Canada's Ambassador. But he was expelled from the country before he could present his credentials. John Mundy has now retired. He was in Ottawa.
Cda-Iran Communication - Paul Pillar
Paul Pillar is more skeptical about sharing information with Iran's security and intelligence agencies. He was a CIA analyst for nearly three decades. He ended his career as the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. He is now a professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies. He was in Washington.
Cda-Iran Communication - Mohsen Sazegara
When Mohsen Sazegara heard about this memo, it hit close to home. In 1979, he was one of the students who helped found Iran's now infamous Revolutionary Guard. He held high-ranking positions in the government of Ayatollah Khamenei in the early years of the revolution.
But as the years passed, he became disillusioned with the government he had helped create. In 2003, he was arrested. And he moved to the United States after he was released. Mohsen Sazegara was in Washington.
The Current requested interviews with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Agency, former CSIS head Jim Judd, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Iranian Embassy in Canada. None was available to speak to us this morning.