Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Sources from the Jundallah organization cast doubt on the validity of the confession made by Jundallah leader Abdol Malek Rigi that was broadcast by Iranian media recently. In the confession, Rigi stated that he has ties to the US and that he “committed a number of crimes against Iranian civilians.”
The sources who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat by phone from eastern Iran, refusing to disclose their whereabouts for security reasons, said that the content broadcast by Iran regarding Rigi was an attempt to tarnish the image of the Jundallah organization which, in the past, denied having any ties to any regional or international intelligence apparatus.
The sources described what they called a false confession as a “failed attempt by Iranian security and intelligence apparatus to link Jundullah to US-Iranian disputes,” indicating that Tehran wants to manipulate Rigi’s arrest in order to suggest that the US is behind the series of military operations that the organization carried out on Iranian territory. The sources added: “Everybody knows how false confessions such as these are fabricated. The confessions are made under torture and psychological pressure. Therefore, we do not consider it as representative of us or of the heroic face of Rigi.”
The sources added: “Anyone who saw that footage that showed our leader Rigi will certainly realize that he is not composed and not in a natural state. It is certain that they subjected him to torture or drugged him in order to extract such lies from him, which they want the world to believe.”
According to the video broadcast by the official Iranian television channel Press TV on Thursday evening, Rigi appeared in carefully prepared footage saying that US officials provided his organization with different kinds of arms, bombs and communication equipment and told him that there is no problem between the US and the Al Qaeda organization.
As part of the false confession broadcast by different Iranian media, Rigi also stated “that the head of the CIA provides support to all anti-Iran organizations and has the ability to create difficulties for this country because it is too difficult for America to launch military attacks.”
He stated that during his meeting with CIA [officials] in Dubai, they promised him extensive support and that a base, as well as arms, will be at his disposal near the area, indicating that this base was to be set up in Manas near Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.
While the US State Department denied Iran’s claims on Thursday that Washington has ties to the Jundallah organization that is headed by Rigi and described these claims as “Iranian propaganda,” the UAE Foreign Ministry denied Friday that the leader of the Jundallah group entered Dubai before he was arrested by Iranian authorities. The UAE authorities confirmed that he was at [Dubai International] airport for two hours only on his way from Afghanistan to Kyrgyzstan.
The statement issued by the UAE Foreign Ministry said that “what is being reported by Iranian media about the arrest of a man called Abdol Malek Rigi in the Islamic Republic of Iran after he returned from Dubai is inaccurate and lacks any credibility.” The UAE Foreign Ministry indicated that Rigi was in possession of an entry visa; however he did not use it. The statement confirmed that “the name that appeared on the visa shown by the media never entered the country. He made a two-hour stop-over in Dubai as he arrived from Kabul en route to Kyrgyzstan, without using the entry permit.”