Publishe Date: 4:36 PM - 3/17/2014 | Print

CIA Suspends Chief of Iran Operations

Politics - The US spy agency, CIA, suspended the chief of its Iran operations because his 'mismanagement' had put the division “in disarray”.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times cited former and current CIA officials as saying that Jonathan Bank had been placed on leave after a probe found he had created an “abusive” and “hostile” atmosphere at the agency’s Iran division, which is tasked with coordinating espionage on the Islamic Republic and its nuclear energy program, press tv reported.

“Iran is one of the most important targets, and the place (Iran operations division) was not functioning,” a former official stated.

Former officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity, also said the employees at the Iran operations division had openly rejected Bank’s management style, with several of the leading ones demanding transfers, the report said.

Bank, a 46-year-old veteran officer, previously served at CIA stations in the Balkans, Moscow and Baghdad.

According to the daily, officers and analysts in the CIA’s Iran operations section learned about the decision to suspend Bank at a meeting held at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, last week.

Commenting on the issue, the CIA’s chief spokesman said, “As a general matter, the CIA expects managers at all levels to demonstrate leadership skills and foster an environment that helps their employees perform at the highest levels to achieve agency objectives.”

“Whenever that doesn’t happen, we examine the situation carefully and take appropriate action,” he added.

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