By Oliver Farrimond
AN IRANIAN secret agent has come forward to claim that his country was “100 per cent” behind the Lockerbie bombing.
Reza Khalili, who worked as a double agent for the CIA in the 1980s and 1990s, claims that tragic Pan Am flight 103 was deliberately targeted by the Iranian government.
His claims back up the belief that the bombing was carried out in retaliation for the accidental shooting down of an Iranian airliner by American forces in 1988.
Khalili said that he met a met who he believed to be a senior member of Iran’s revolutionary guards in London shortly after the atrocity.
The man apparently knew details of the bombing, some of which did not emerge publicly until months later.
Speaking from his home in California, Khalili said: “I know for a fact that the man I met was an Iranian intelligence officer with direct ties to the Supreme Leader’s office.
“He told me that it was retaliation for the downing of the Iran Air flight, carried out with the help of the Palestinians.
“He talked about the radio transmitter and specifically mentioned that it was used as a trigger for the bomb.
“There was no other way he could have known – it made me believe Iran was 100 per cent behind it.”
Khalili’s claims are featured in his book, A Time To Betray, which recounts his double life as a CIA double agent.
The former spy added that he was willing to give evidence at any fresh inquiry into the disaster.
Khalili was working for Iran’s elite revolutionary guards at the time of the bombing, but was also secretly a CIA double agent after becoming shocked by abuses he saw in Iranian prisons.
He insists that he passed the information on to this American handler, and remains angry that Americans chose to ignore it.
He added that Libyan Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing which killed 270, may have been a “scapegoat”.
He said: “He could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or he could just have been a scapegoat.
“He may have been part of the operation, but in my opinion he was definitely not the mastermind.”
Al-Megrahi is currently living in Libya with terminal prostate cancer, having been released to return home by the Scottish Government in August last year.