| Manucher Ghorbanifar |
Arms dealer and central figure in the Iran-Contra Affair.
Manucher Ghorbanifar, "legendary arms dealer, infamous intelligence fabricator, and central figure in the Iran-Contra Affair that almost brought down the Reagan administration",  has been retained by the U.S. Department of Defense and then Vice President Dick Cheney as their "man on the ground", in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials" and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to Iraq, The Raw Story  20 April 2006.
"Speaking on condition of anonymity," three current and former intelligence officials "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 nuclear weapons program." 
- 1 On the Record: Department of State, April 21, 2006
- 2 Ghorbanifar and the CIA
- 3 Ghorbanifar and Iran: 2004
- 4 Libyan "hit squad"
- 5 Affiliations
- 6 Related Articles
- 7 External links
On the Record: Department of State, April 21, 2006
According to the April 21, 2006, Q&A following the "Briefing on the Iran Nuclear Issue"  by R. Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Robert Joseph, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, held in Washington, DC:
"QUESTION: There's been a lot of speculation over the last week that the U.S. is looking to talk to Iran beyond the narrow talks on Iraq — talk to Iran beyond the narrow confines of Iraq. There has been reports that a Mr. — an Iranian official, Mr. Nahavandian, was in town looking to meet with U.S. officials and there were also reports that the U.S. is using its longtime intermediary, Mr. Ghorbanifar. So could you speak to these reports? Is there anything to it? Is the U.S. looking to have any direct negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue?
"UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: There's nothing to those reports. The Iranian gentleman in question may have been wandering around Washington, but I am absolutely sure he did not have any conversations with any American Government officials and that we weren't seeking those conversations. He apparently is a green card holder, so he got himself into the United States. This is an issue for the Department of Homeland Security now to handle and DHS is, and I'd direct your questions there. But he did not have discussions with American Government officials and we would not have met with him, had he knocked on the door of the State Department.
"There are no discussions underway of the type that you have talked about. As you know, we do not have -- we are not talking to the Iranians directly about this nuclear issue. We're not part of the negotiations with them. When I was in Moscow, an Iranian delegation showed up and they met with the Europeans and Russians directly after our meeting, but I was not there and I was never intended to be there.
"The only conversations we've had with the Iranians were a couple of weeks ago and we told you about this when -- after the earthquake, when I called the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Zarif, to offer, on behalf of our government, humanitarian assistance. And he called me back the next day with the answer that the Iranian Government was very appreciative of the offer, but they felt they could handle that particular natural disaster on their own. That's the extent of it, so there are no discussions underway.
"QUESTION: No discussions with Mr. Ghorbanifar either?
"UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: No, no."
Ghorbanifar and the CIA
"Manucher Ghorbanifar, a man [the CIA] have wrongly characterized as a 'fabricator' out for money, when in reality he has been an extraordinary source of understanding and has sacrificed a substantial personal fortune in the cause of Iranian freedom."
According to Jim Lobe "In the mid-1980s, when Ledeen was working for the National Security Council, he tangled with the CIA again over his efforts with Israeli spy David Kimche to gain the release of US hostages in Beirut through an Iranian arms dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar, in the opening stages of what would become the Iran-Contra affair," 
"But Ghorbanifar did not come through. Despite Ledeen's assessment of the middleman as 'one of the most honest, educated, honorable men I have ever known', he flunked four lie detector tests administered by the CIA, which had long warned that the Iranian 'should be regarded as an intelligence fabricator and a nuisance'," 
"Add in the one other long-term source the Neocon favorite Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian version of Chalabi, who fooled us badly during Iran-Contra and doesn't seem to be any more reliable now," 
Ghorbanifar and Iran: 2004
Harold Rhode, described as a "neoconservative colleague" of Larry Franklin in the US Department of Defense: "...the neocon promoter Michael Ledeen had been involved in secret back-channel meetings in Paris starting as early as December 2001 with the shady Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, a key figure in the Reagan-era folly remembered as the Iran-Contra affair," 
The CIA had long since proscribed dealings with Ghorbanifar. The agency had him classified as a chronic liar. When a US ambassador in Italy got wind of the meetings, he and the CIA station chief in Rome notified superiors at the US State Department and the CIA." George Tenet, former director of the CIA, in turn persuaded the number two official on the National Security Council, Stephen Hadley, to prohibit further meetings with the Iranian arms merchant and the so-called Iranian dissidents he was presenting to neocons avid for regime change in Tehran. 
This White House prohibition against the back-channel meetings arranged by Ghorbanifar was to no avail. There were at least two and possibly several more meetings. Ghorbanifar, living up to his reputation for indiscreet gabbiness, has boasted about further meetings to reporters for the Washington Monthly," 
Libyan "hit squad"
"In the early months of Ronald Reagan's administration, the American media began 'promoting' a story that a 'Libyan hit squad' was in the U.S. to assassinate the president. It goes without saying this piece of 'fact' inflamed public sentiment against Libya.
"Suddenly, however, the 'hit squad' stories vanished. ... It was discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent who had very close ties to the Mossad."
- Ghorbanifar's "fervent advocate on Capitol Hill is Representative Curt Weldon." 
- Ghorbanifar is Card #26 on IRAN-CONTRA Trading Cards.
- James Bamford, Iran: The Next War, Rolling Stone, 10 August 2006
Ghorbanifar in the Walsh Iran/Contra Report
Lawrence E. Walsh, "Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters," Volume I: Investigations and Prosecutions, August 4, 1993.
- Part I The Underlying Facts
- Part II History of the Investigation
- Part III The Operational Conspiracy: A Legal Analysis
- Part VI Investigations and Cases: Officers of the Central Intelligence Agency
- Part VIII " U.S. v. Caspar W. Weinberger and Related Investigations Officers of the Department of Defense
- Chapter 1 U.S. v. Robert C. McFarlane
- Chapter 8 The Enterprise and Its Finances
- Chapter 9 U.S. v. Richard V. Secord
- Chapter 15 William J. Casey
- Chapter 16 Robert M. Gates
- Chapter 18 U.S. v. Duane R. Clarridge
- Chapter 24 George P. Shultz, M. Charles Hill and Nicholas Platt
- Chapter 30 Donald T. Regan
- "From Many Strands, A Tangled Web. The bizarre intrigue was spun out across two continents and several years," (cache file) TIME Europe, December 8, 1986.
- "The Deeper Malady: From Terrorism to Covert Action" excerpted from the book The Iran Contra Connection. Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era by Johnathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter (South End Press, 1987, paper); posted by Third World Traveler.
- Michael A. Ledeen, "The Iran Affair: An Insider’s Account," The Washington Post (steveclemons.com), January 25, 1987.
- "Iran Was Deliberately Overcharged on Arms," Associated Press (mosquitonet.com), May 6, 1987.
- Peter Shinkle and Dennis Bernstein, "Witnesses Who Were Absent" Part I, Guardian Unlimited (UK) (Flashpoints.net), September 23, 1987.
- Jane Hunter, "Manucher Ghorbanifar" and "The Shadow Government: Oliver North and the Israelis," The Link Vol. 20, Issue 4 (October-November 1987) posted by Americans for Middle East Understanding.
- Fox Butterfield, "Arms for Hostages -- Plain and Simple," New York Times, November 27, 1988.
- Michael A. Ledeen, "Truth About Ghorbanifar," with Reply by Theodore H. Draper, Letters in The New York Review of Books, April 27, 1989, In response to "'Rewriting the Iran-Contra Story': An Exchange" (March 2, 1989).
- Richard H. Curtiss, "Reprise of the October Surprise: Is the Worst Surprise Still to Come?" Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May/June 1991.
- Rep. Bill McCollum, "Partisan Politics and the Myth of the October Surprise" (from Newsweek, November 11, 1991), Extension of Remarks, November 4, 1991, in the U.S. House of Representatives, published in the Congressional Record:E3694LUM (posted by Federation of American Scientists).
- George Cave, "Eyewitness to 'Irangate'. Why Secret 1986 U.S.-Iran 'Arms for Hostages' Negotiations Failed," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September/October 1994.
- Martin McLaughlin, "The crisis in Washington: what history tells us. Part 2: Iran-Contra," WSWS.org, April 4, 1998: "The Iranian arms trader Manucher Ghorbanifar claimed to be able to deliver [William F.] Buckley and other US hostages, although by this time Buckley had been tortured to death."
- Prospect org article on the Iran Contra Affair
- reported Raw Story Report 20 April 2006
- "Briefing on the Iran Nuclear Issue"
- Jim Lobe in the Asia Times, 26 June 2003
- CIA burn notices
- Knight Ridder Newspapers Warren P. Stobel 20 July 2005
- Daily Kos emptywheel 15 November 2005
- Boston Globe editorial 31 August 2004