Manucher Ghorbanifar, “legendary arms dealer, infamous intelligence fabricator, and central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal that almost brought down the Reagan administration”, is back in the arms of the Bush administration:
The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, three intelligence sources identified the Iran-Contra middleman as having been put back on the payroll, acting as a human intelligence asset and monitoring any movement in discussions about Iran’s alleged burgeoning nuclear weapons program.
“Khalilzad has been authorized to enter into discussions with the Iranians over the issue of stability inside Iraq,” one former intelligence source said.
These discussions, however, are now on hold for unspecified reasons. Sources close to the UN Security Council and a former high ranking intelligence official say that this latest failed attempt to bring Iran to the table is part of an ongoing attempt by Cheney and Rumsfeld to squash diplomatic activities.
Another intelligence source confirmed the spiking of diplomatic action on Cheney’s behalf, explaining that the Bush administration sees such talks as a “sign of weakness.”
Newsday was already publishing news of the flourishing affair in 2003.