In 2017, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created a special unit, the Iranian Mission Center, to focus on development of US plans for Iran. The initiative to create this unit came from CIA Director John Brennan, who left his post when the Trump administration came to power. Brennan believed that the CIA needed to focus on what the United States considered problem areas — for example, North Korea and Iran. This preceded the Trump administration.
Brennan’s successor, Mike Pompeo, who was director of the CIA for just over a year (until he was appointed US secretary of state), continued this policy. CIA-related activities were conducted in the Iranian Operations Division (Persia House). It was a group of specialists on Iran who accumulated knowledge about political and economic events in Iran and in the Iranian diaspora.
According to sources, the White House administration was worried that Persia House was filled with Iranian specialists who do not pay much attention to regime change in Iran.
Trump’s people wanted a much more focused and militant group that would provide intelligence activities more desired by national security adviser John Bolton.
In place of the head of the Iranian Mission Center, the CIA appointed Michael D’Andrea. D’Andrea was central to the interrogation program after the events of September 11, and he led the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center. Murder and torture were central tools of his work.
It was D’Andrea who expanded the program of CIA drone strikes, in particular the so-called “profile strike”. Profile strike is a particularly controversial tool. The CIA was granted the right to kill anyone who fits a specific profile, such as a person of a certain age, or a person with a phone who was associated with someone from the lists of people interested in the CIA. Extra-legal killings are a D’Andrea specialty.
As for his position at the Iranian Missionary Center, D’Andrea is close to Arabs in the Persian Gulf, as former CIA analysts say. Gulf Arabs insistently insist on actions against Iran. This view is shared by D’Andrea and part of his team. For his tough attitude towards Iran, D’Andrea is known — ironically, as «Ayatollah Mike.»
D’Andrea and people like Bolton are part of a group of people who have an internal hatred for Iran and are close in their worldview to the Saudi royal family. These are people who are ready for reckless violence and are ready for anything that will provoke a war against Iran. They will not stop at anything
D’Andrea and his “warhawks” ousted several experts on Iran from the Iranian Mission Center, for example Margaret Strometsky, who was the head of the analytical department. The rest of the experts who could provide a point of view different from the point of view of Pompeo-Bolton, either were either dismissed or silent. Former officials say the Trump administration has no place for dissent over Iran’s policies.
Ally D’Andrea outside the White House — Thomas Kaplan, a billionaire who created two groups aimed at regime change in Iran. Both groups are the Union Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the Project on Combating Extremism. There is nothing subtle here. These groups — and Kaplan himself — are promoting the program of the complete destruction of Iran as a free state.
Kaplan blamed Iran for creating ISIS, since it was Iran, according to Kaplan, «used the terrible Sunni movement» to expand its reach from Persia to the Mediterranean. Such an absurdity followed from a fundamental misunderstanding of Shiism — as Kaplan and his accomplices say — deception. Kaplan, oddly enough, shares the views of ISIL more than Iran — because both Kaplan and ISIL are driven by their hatred of those who follow the Shiite traditions of Islam.
Interestingly, Kaplan’s anti-Iranian groups unite the CIA and third-party funding. The head of UANI is Mark Wallace, who is the executive director of Tigris Kaplan financial group, a financial company with investments, which, she admits, will benefit from «instability in the Middle East.» Working with UANI and a project to counter extremism Norman Roule, a former national intelligence manager for Iran in the US office of the director of national intelligence.
Rawle offered his support to the efforts of the Fund of Arabia, led by Ali Shihabi — a man who has close ties with the Saudi monarchy. The Arabia Foundation was created in order to provide Saudi Arabia with the tools for more effective public relations work. Shihabi is the son of one of the most respected diplomats of Saudi Arabia, Samir al-Shihabi, who played an important role as ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan during the war in which al-Qaeda was created.
These people — Kaplan and Bolton, D’Andrea and Shihabi — are striving to use the full power of the US military to achieve the dangerous goals of the Arab kingdoms in the Persian Gulf (both Saudi Arabia and the UAE). When Pompeo speaks to cameras, he works for them. These people have one task — they want war against Iran.
For them, there are no such concepts as law, guilt, law, morality. They will not stop until the American bombers start throwing their deadly cargo on Tehran and Qom, Isfahan and Shiraz. They will not stop until they make it a reality.