Hassan Golkanbhan, an Iranian cameraman who accompanied Ahmadinejad to New York for the U.N. General Assembly conference, applied for asylum in the United States. His attorney, Paul O'Dwyer, told CNN
Golkanbhan was afraid to return to Iran because he feared persecution due to his perceived political beliefs.
According to O'Dwyer, Golkanb is:
"perceived as not being a supporter, or being an opponent of the Iranian regime. Somebody who has betrayed the regime and who can no longer be trusted by them. There were things that he was expected to do that he was uncomfortable with doing," and "while he was here... his position on certain things became known to the Iranian government."
The application for asylum was submitted to the department of Homeland Security. Applications on behalf of his wife and children, who fled Iran while Golkanbhan was at the U.N. conference, will be filed at a later date.
are reporting that Golkanb turned over two suitcases he brought with him to the U.N. conference filled with
“the most complete and updated footage” that US intelligence has ever been offered of Iran’s top secret military facilities and other related structures, which include “exclusive interior shots of the Natanz nuclear complex, the Fordo underground enrichment plant, the Parchin military complex and the small Amir-Abad research reactor in Tehran.”
As reported on Digital Journal
in August, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) suspected Iran has used Parchin to conduct explosive test in the development of nuclear weapons.
A link on the U.N. International Organizations Desk
, states the footage shows “...Revolutionary Guards and military industry chiefs explaining in detail to the president or supreme leader the working of secret equipment on view.”
During his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week, President Obama stated
"a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The United States, as well as Israel and the IAEA, have attempted to garner information on Iran’s nuclear program, a project that Ahmadinejad insists is for peaceful purposes, for several years. If the footage turned over to the CIA is as valuable as reports claim, it many now place in the hands of the U.S. evidence needed to hold Iran accountable for attempting to produce nuclear weapons.
It is unclear at this time if the White House, CIA and/or the Department of Homeland Security had been in contact with Golkhanban regarding the footage. However the Telegraph
reports O'Dwyer as stating:
"I cannot reveal how long we had been in communication beforehand."
This has lead some to speculate Golkhanban chose to bring the footage with him to the U.N. conference because of a deal made with the United States to obtain asylum for himself and his family.
Iran has not commented on Golkhanban’s defection or the footage reportedly delivered to American authorities.