Former R&AW officers have signified support that PM Modi will see into the subject against ex-Vice President, Hamid Ansari, to discover the fact about the entire Tehran matter. These officers had first proposed PM Modi in 2017, asking a probe against Ansari for “damaging R&AW operations” while he was posted as Ambassador in Tehran, Iran during 1990-1992.
In their complaint to PM Modi, in which at least 4 cases are cited wherein Ansari failed in his duties, the officers have alleged that Ansari “not only failed to protect India’s national interest, but cooperated with the Iranian government and its intelligence agency SAVAK to cause a serious dent to R&AW and its operations.”The officers demanded a thorough inquiry into Ansari’s part in the issuance of fake visas, specifically why he failed to take appropriate steps when staff members in Tehran were being captured at the order of the Iranian government; and most importantly, the part Ansari played in corrupting R&AW’s procedures in Tehran and other Gulf countries.
In May 1991, a few months later Ansari’s posting in Tehran, a young personal assistant, Sandeep Kapoor, was abducted from Tehran airport by Iran’s intelligence men. He was tortured and drugged for three days before thrown on a deserted city road. Ansari did not track this matter with the Iran government, much to the disappointment of the staff. One R&AW officer D.B. Mathur used to obtain inside information about Kashmiris from India being influenced at a center in Qom, near Tehran. Secret reports were constantly sent to New Delhi, with Ansari’s knowledge; Ansari was against some of these statements. One morning, in August 1991, Mathur was abducted by the Iranian intelligence men. Hamid Ansari sent a random report on Mathur’s disappearance to New Delhi but did not take up the subject sincerely with the Iranian government. It is being claimed by the R&AW officers that it was Ansari himself who provided Mathur’s name to the Iranian government. The staff was disturbed. After two days, the wives of over 30 staff members opposed outside the embassy, with whom Ansari denied to meet.
After an R&AW officer, N.K. Sood from Tehran reached Mr. R K Yadav, the author of stellar work on RAW “Mission R&WA” in New Delhi to notify about this, who met Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who in turn talked to Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao; the immediate response was taken. Within a few hours, Mathur was released. He was subjected to third-degree torment by the Iranians to get exclusive news about R&AW agents which he refused to reveal.
Consequently, an embassy security officer Mohammad Umar was proposed by the Iranian intelligence men to act for them. Umar refused and informed his senior, who in turn notified Hamid Ansari. A few weeks later, Umar was captured by the Iranians, terribly beaten up, and thrown on an isolated spot outside Tehran. Ansari again did not complain to the Iranian authorities and rather asked him to stay silent. In turn, Umar was sent back to India, with Ansari suggesting that he should be excluded from foreign postings, notwithstanding R&AW officers declaring that he was innocent. According to a report, the letter also states that how the R&AW station chief, P.K. Venugopal, was hit up by the Iranian intelligence and how Hamid Ansari set a blind eye towards unfair Indan visas being provided to people on wrong grounds after bribery. Moreover, the letter also states Ansari’s long meetings with the Pakistan Ambassador in Tehran, which were not informed to the MEA.
Ansari’s agenda to aim R&AW authorities to severe that one of the officers, N.K. Sood told that Ansari even went to the range of recommending the shutting down of R&AW stations in Iran. All these accounts are specified in R K Yadav’s work, “Mission R&WA”. The stellar work provides a comprehensive account of Ansari’s antics in Tehran. He stated that Ansari had “developed very good personal relations within the Iranian government but did not want to rake up these kidnapping issues to bring any sort of bitterness”. According to R K Yadav, most R&AW operatives felt insecure due to Ansari’s attitude. Since the embassies and ministries are thought to act as enablers for the intelligence practices, Ansari’s activities would have been a barrier to not only diplomatic relationships, but also, would have been a warning to India’s security.