Israel, US Spying on Iran From Iraq
IslamOnline – Tehran, February 6, 2005
The Israeli intelligence services (Mossad) has set up in cooperation with US occupation troops radars and spying devices near the southern Iraqi city of Basra to monitor Iranian military and security activities, well-placed Iranian sources have revealed.
The radars have been fixed to50 -meter-high lampposts in the southern island of Um Al-Rosas, only 800 meters from the Iranian harbor of Khourmushar, the sources told the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Hayat on Sunday, February 6 .
“The radars can be seen by the naked eye from Iranian soil,” they added.
The spying devices can detect radio signals and intercept cellular calls as deep as 50 kilometers into the Iranian territories, the sources said.
The New Yorker veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said Israeli intelligence and military operatives were quietly at work in northern Iraq, providing training for Kurdish commando units and running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria.
A center of the Washington-based and Mossad-linked Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) was opened in Baghdad, in a provocative move seen by Iraqi academics as the beginning of an Israeli scheme to infiltrate Iraqi society.
Last month, Hersh revealed that American commandoes have been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer.
A former high-level intelligence official told the acclaimed journalist that an American commando task force has been set up in South Asia and has penetrated Iran from Afghanistan to pinpoint targets for possible air strikes.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in London on Friday, February 4 , that an attack on Iran was not on the agenda “at this point in time.”
In his State of the Union address on Wednesday, February2 , US President George W. Bush called Iran “the world's primary state sponsor of terror” and repeated accusations that Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran refutes the claim and maintains that its nuclear program is aimed solely at generating power for civilian use.
In a major breakthrough, the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed on November 29 , that Tehran has suspended all uranium enrichment activities.
In a related development, US Senators have launched a review of intelligence on Iran to avoid pitfalls that marked the path to the occupation of Iraq, Reuters reported Saturday, February5 , quoting The Los Angeles Times.
“We have to be more pre-emptive on this committee to try to look ahead and determine our capabilities so that you don't get stuck with a situation like you did with Iraq,” said Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“The aim of the Senate review,” Roberts added, “is to ensure that any weaknesses in American intelligence on Iran are being disclosed to policymakers, and that US spy agencies have adequate resources to fill gaps in collecting information on the Islamic republic.”
Sen. John Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement cited by the paper: “One of the lessons we learned from Iraq was not to take all information at face value and to ask more questions in the beginning than in the end.”
The Bush administration based its case for the invasion-turned-occupation of Iraq mainly on the alleged threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
In a harshly critical report in July, the Senate Intelligence Committee said US intelligence agencies overstated the Iraqi threat, relied on dubious sources and ignored contrary evidence in the run-up to the war.
Former secretary of state Colin Powell acknowledged in April that the pre-war information he gave the UN to justify the Iraq invasion was not “solid”, heaping the blame on the intelligence community.
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Last updated 14/02/2005