CIA Iran Chief Suspended, Department ‘Was Not Functioning’
by Joshua Levitt
The CIA’s Iran chief of operations was suspended after sending the division that coordinates spying on Iran and its nuclear program into disarray, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
“Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” said one of three former officials who told the newspaper that the Iran operations division was in “open rebellion,” with several key employees demanding transfers.
Jonathan Bank, 46, was placed on paid administrative leave and sent home from agency headquarters for creating an abusive and hostile work environment, according to the report.
In 2010, Bank was removed as CIA station chief in Islamabad after his name was published by newspapers in connection with a court case, and he had received death threats. The LA Times said that U.S. officials believe Pakistan’s intelligence service leaked his name in a dispute over CIA drone attacks.
Former agency officials said Bank had previously served at CIA stations in the Balkans, Moscow and Baghdad, the newspaper said. He also was a top assistant to James Pavitt, who from 1999 to 2004 headed the CIA’s operations arm, now known as the National Clandestine Service, the LA Times said.
There was no indication from the article if another CIA leader was to be assigned to Iran or if Bank would be returning.