US increases covert ops against Iran
One of the aspects was to work with dissident groups in Iran. Mentioned were the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups. Strangely not mentioned was the largest dissident group the Kurds. Perhaps they need no assistance, but they seem like an obvious choice to support given our good relations with the Iraqi Kurds.
Late last year, Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, The New Yorker magazine reported.
An article published online Sunday by the magazine cites current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources and said the operations were described in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.
Even though some legislators, including top Democrats, were troubled by the Finding, the $400 million funding for the escalation, which includes gathering intelligence about Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, was approved.
While clandestine operations against Iran are not new, the article by reporter Seymour Hersh cites officials as saying the scale and scope of the operations in Iran have been significantly expanded.
Some of the operations that have taken place within the past year include seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, for interrogation purposes and the pursuit of 'high-value targets.'
“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” the article quotes a person familiar with its contents as saying, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.”
I suspect there is more to this operation than just working with dissidents and rounding up Qods force commanders.