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A senior US official told The Washington Post Thursday that missing Iranian general Ali Rez Asghari was in Western hands and providing intelligence services with information about Hizbullah, Iran and the ties between the two. It was the first time since Asghari's disappearance last month, during a visit to Turkey, that a western official confirmed his fate.
Another US official, who spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, suggested that Asghari's disappearance was voluntary and was orchestrated by Israel.
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The Israeli government denied any connection to Asghari. "To my knowledge, Israel is not involved in any way in this disappearance," said Foreign Minstry spokesman Mark Regev.
Up until now, only Iranian officials have suggested he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The US official said Asghari was cooperating, but did not divulge Asghari's whereabouts or specify who was questioning him. He made it clear that the information Asghari was offering was fully available to US intelligence.
Iranian officials said Asghari, who in the past had commanded the country's Revolutionary Guards, was not involved in the country's nuclear program, and the senior US official said Asghari was not being questioned about it.
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