US May Get Misleading Info Instead Of Intel From Iran Oil Trade Reward - Ex-CIA Officer

US May Get Misleading Info Instead of Intel From Iran Oil Trade Reward - Ex-CIA Officer

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2019) The US government is unlikely to get much if any usable intelligence out of its new reward program for information on Iran's oil trade and may instead be led astray by inaccurate and confusing data, retired CIA officer Phil Giraldi told Sputnik.

The US Rewards for Justice program is offering up to $15 million for information leading to the disruption of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' financial mechanisms, including information on oil sales and tankers, the Department of State announced last week.

"The key phrases are 'up to' and 'lead to': This will be very hard to quantify in either respect," said Giraldi, a former CIA case officer, who had served in the middle East.

Instead of giving the US government a clearer view of Iran's oil trade the initiative would much more likely cloud the issue by encouraging endless people with confusing false or vague reports to flood the intelligence services with time-wasting tips that still had to be checked out, Giraldi, who also served in US Army Intelligence warned.

"I would bet that the US Embassies in Turkey and Dubai will be flooded with desperate Iranians peddling what they know or have made up.

In my experience overseas, offering rewards have not paid off in terms of usable intelligence," he explained.

Iran's oil transportation network is tightly controlled by a small, protected circle of officials that is extremely difficult to penetrate, Giraldi cautioned.

"In this case, in particular, only a handful of officers in the Guard would have any idea how the whole thing works, and even they would likely not know many of the details. Getting at those individuals would be very difficult bordering on impossible," he pointed out.

It is highly unlikely that senior US intelligence officials had any high hopes that their $15 million reward offer would actually produce much, if any usable intelligence, Giraldi noted.

"This is a fishing expedition pure and simple - money that the US government considers small change being dangled to see what surfaces," he said.

The Trump administration is also planning to impose more sanctions on Iran and is not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers during its maximum pressure campaign, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook has recently said.

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