|CIA chief of Iran operations suspended: report||
TEHRAN – The United States spy agency, the CIA, has suspended the chief of Iran operations because he had created an abusive and hostile work environment that put the “crucial division” in disarray, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
Officers and analysts in the Iran operations division, which coordinates spying on Iran and its nuclear program, were informed the decision to suspend Jonathan Bank, a veteran officer and member of the senior intelligence service.
Three former officials said the Iran operations division was in open rebellion to Bank's management style, with several key employees demanding transfers.
“Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” one of the former officials said.
Bank, now 46, previously served at CIA stations in the Balkans, Moscow and Baghdad, former agency officials 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,” the agency's chief spokesman said. “Whenever that doesn't happen, we examine the situation carefully and take appropriate action.”
Several former CIA officials said they could not remember a senior manager being suspended over workplace issues, but management problems are a recurring challenge at the agency.
According to a Los Angeles Times report in July, an internal CIA workplace survey in 2009 found that those who left the spy agency frequently cited bad management as a factor, particularly in the clandestine service.
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