US spy agency sacks its Iran operations chief

US spy agency sacks its Iran operations chief
Mon Mar 17, 2014 15:00:16

Major American spy agency CIA has dismissed its Iran operations director citing his "mismanagement" and holding him responsible for putting the division “in disarray.”

Prominent US daily Los Angeles Times quoted former and current CIA officials in a Sunday report to state 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.

“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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