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World Iran Intel Leak: Main Takeaways From Secret Cables

13:25  18 november  2019
13:25  18 november  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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Leaked spy cables reveal how Iran came to dominate the political and military spheres in Iraq. Here are the key takeaways . The cables are being published at a pivotal moment in Iraq. The country has been roiled by deadly antigovernment protests in Baghdad and the Shiite-dominated south for nearly

In an unprecedented leak from one of the world’s most secretive regimes, an anonymous source provided 700 pages of Iranian intelligence reports to The Intercept, saying they wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.”

Information from a trove of secret Iranian intelligence cables was published simultaneously by The Intercept and The New York Times on Monday. The leak exposed Iran’s vast influence in Iraq, detailing the painstaking efforts of Iranian spies to co-opt Iraqi leaders and infiltrate every aspect of political life.

a group of people sitting at a table: United States and Iraqi military officials at a 2011 signing ceremony handing control of Camp Victory, a central base for American forces during the Iraq War, over to Iraq.© Andrea Bruce for The New York Times United States and Iraqi military officials at a 2011 signing ceremony handing control of Camp Victory, a central base for American forces during the Iraq War, over to Iraq.

The trove consists of roughly 700 pages of reports and cables written mainly in 2014 and 2015 by officers in Iran’s version of the C.I.A. who were based in Iraq. The documents were sent anonymously to The Intercept, which shared them with The Times.

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This kind of leak is unprecedented for Iran , a country with a highly secretive government and spy agencies that guard their confidential information zealously. As we continue to evaluate the cables for newsworthy material, we will publish new stories along with relevant excerpts.

According to a leaked archive of secret Iranian spy cables obtained by The Intercept, Iranian intelligence officials in Iraq privately expressed concerns

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The Intercept and The Times verified the authenticity of the documents but do not know who leaked them. In encrypted messages, the anonymous source said that he or she wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.”

Here are the key takeaways.

The cables are being published at a pivotal moment in Iraq.

The country has been roiled by deadly antigovernment protests in Baghdad and the Shiite-dominated south for nearly two months. Protesters have called for an end to Iranian influence and corruption. At least 300 people have been killed.

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But at every turn an Iranian octopus was lurking, outplaying the ham-handed American attempts to exert influence in Baghdad, even maneuvering Iranian -backed candidates into office with US backing, tricking Washington to make the US think it had “won.” Meanwhile Iran played the long game.

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At the same time, tensions are high between the United States and Iran. President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions last year. The White House has blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, reviewed war plans and rushed ships to the Persian Gulf.

The Trump administration also said it had intelligence showing that Iran was preparing attacks on American targets in Iraq. Iraqi officials are increasingly worried that a provocation on either side could set off a war between the powerful countries vying for dominance in their homeland.

The leak reveals how Iran came to dominate the political and military spheres in Iraq.

Many of Iraq’s leading political, military and security officials have had secret “special relationships” with Iran, including Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and his predecessor, Haider al-Abadi. The Iranians have long been known to influence Iraqi leaders, many of whom became allied with Iran as exiles battling the regime of Saddam Hussein, but the character of their relationships has rarely been revealed in such detail. The revelations could increase pressure on those officials as protests continue.

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Depress them by exposing their secret story so that all people can get to know it and understand what it is all about. That’s why the Khazars worked so hard to buy out and control the media and public Just to get to know it and relate it to the following facts. The assassination of Iranian General Suleiman.

Intel believes that the leak may have “come from the Intel Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for use by our customers, partners and other external parties who have registered for access. We believe an individual with access downloaded and shared this data.”

Many of the files show that as senior American diplomats met behind closed doors with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad and Kurdistan, their conversations were routinely reported back to the Iranians. A top political aide to a former speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, for example, was identified as an Iranian intelligence asset.

Iranian officials also cultivated networks of informants who had once worked for the Americans. After the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, many of those informants were jobless and fearful that their work as spies would be revealed.

One former C.I.A. asset, known by the nickname “Donnie Brasco,” offered to sell Iran the locations of agency safe houses, details of weapons and surveillance training, and the names of other Iraqis who had spied for the Americans.

The cables provide a sort of final accounting of the American invasion of Iraq.

The notion that the Americans essentially handed control of the country to Iran now enjoys broad support, even within the American military.

The cables show how Iran began amassing power in the chaotic aftermath of the 2003 American invasion. Iran quickly moved its best intelligence agents to Iraq, seeking to counter what it saw as Washington’s aggression.

The invasion, of course, became an occupation. The army was dismantled and officials linked to Mr. Hussein’s regime were stripped of their posts, fueling grievances in Sunni communities. As the country descended into sectarian conflict, Shiite communities looked to Iran as a protector.

The documents also provide a rare glimpse inside the secretive Iranian regime.

The cables show how tensions arose between Iranian intelligence units as Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, recruited and mobilized Iraqi militias to defend its interests.

At one point, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the Iranian version of the C.I.A., feared that Iran’s gains in Iraq were being squandered because Iraqis resented the militias. Above all, they blamed General Suleimani, criticizing him for posting photos on social media publicizing his role in the military campaign against the Islamic State.

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