Hossein Taeb’s Fall as Guardian of the Heisted Atomic Archive Jolts the Tehran Regime

Hossein Taeb’s Islamic Shiite pedigree was impeccable. At 55, he had climbed up to the top ranks of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the national intelligence service and was a member of the inner circle of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after proving his worth as an exceptionally ruthless and brutal servant of the regime.

Taeb was in the habit of warning his underlings: “Beware, the United States is hiring agents and mercenaries in an effort to continue is plots for a soft overthrow of the Islamic Republic.” His failure to obey his own motto was his eventual undoing. Taeb was the official in charge of the special Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) unit entrusted with guarding the regime’s most secret site when the CIA and Mossad got away with the Atomic Archive and had it smuggled out to Tel Aviv. For this, he will pay dear.

Some Western intelligence sources make light of the feat and its product. However, the highest circles of the regime in Tehran are reeling with shock. While sneering that the archive material was old and of no value, they were seriously jolted by its loss and even more by the discovery that a hostile force had penetrated and stripped the heavily-guarded, top-secret site holding the most precious military, intelligence and nuclear secrets.

Ayatollah Khamenei gave IRGC chief Gen. Ali Jaafary a harsh dressing down, asking him how American and Israeli agents were able to run around Tehran unnoticed by Guards agents. The ayatollah also questioned the Guards trustworthiness for guarding the Shite Revolution’s assets outside the country (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon) when it fell down on the job on home ground. For the first time, the supreme leader questioned the credibility of his most powerful ally.

But his ire focused chiefly on his close confidant, Hossein Taeb who, as head of the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization, was responsible for security at ultra-secret government and IRGC sites, including the Nuclear Archive’s hiding place. If an official of the caliber of Taeb could fall down on his assignment, then something must be seriously amiss in the innermost corners of the regime, its leaders are beginning to realize. And since the shock waves reached the supreme leader’s inner circle, the regime’s very core may be cracking

Hossein Taeb, born in Tehran, who studied in the religious seminaries of Tehran, Qom, and joined the IRGC at the age of 19, attained national notoriety nine years ago as commander of the Basij militia, which brutally crushed the demonstrations sweeping the streets. They were protesting against the rigged election which returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term as president. Protesters were beaten mercilessly, thousands were arrested and tortured in prisons around the country. Former inmates attested to the mass rape of men, women and children by IRGC guards in the infamous Karizak and Evin prisons.

Taeb had long served Ahmadinejad as close ally and henchman. He had been given such positions of high trust as Coordinating Deputy between the IRGC and Khamenei’s office (1955-1996) and Deputy Chief of the IRGC’s Intelligence Bureau (1996-2005). For the past 15 years, Hossein Taeb is said to have run an extensive surveillance operation for the personal use of the supreme leader. Every evening, Khamenei is reported to have listened to recordings made by Taeb’s agents of private comments about him by senior officials. It is no wonder that the entire regime is shuddering over the downfall of this eminent servant of the supreme leader and the Revolutionary Guards.

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