Unraveling the Plan to Assassinate the Major Allied Leaders
Gevork Vartanian followed up on the trail of the Germans who had parachuted into Qum. It led the teenage spy to a villa in Tehran, where Operation Long Jump’s advance team had moved in with an Abwehr cell. From that base, the Germans radioed intelligence reports back to Berlin. Unbeknownst to the Germans, their transmissions were intercepted and decoded by the NKVD. The intercepts revealed that Skorzeny was scheduled to arrive in mid-October, along with the actual kill team. That was derailed when the Soviets raided the German spy nest and arrested all its occupants.
The NKVD then sought to turn the radio operators into double agents. They forced them to continue their transmissions to their handlers in Berlin, but now under Soviet supervision. It was an ambitious plan, that sought among other things to lure the Nazis’ star special forces operative into a trap that would have made for a great propaganda coup. It was derailed, however, when one of the Germans managed to slip a prearranged code in one of his transmissions. It alerted Berlin that the messages were sent under duress. Operation Long Jump was cancelled, and Skorzeny never returned to Tehran.