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Documents Reveal Iran Partnered with Former CIA Informants in Iraq Following U.S. Withdrawal

The Iranian flag flutters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2019. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

Hundreds of leaked reports and cables from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security reveal that Tehran established extensive connections with former Iraqi CIA informants after the U.S. withdrew its forces from the country in 2011.

Documents given to The Intercept and shared with The New York Times allege that after the U.S. enacted a withdrawal under the direction of the Obama administration, many CIA informants in Iraq turned immediately to Iran and offered their services, including intel on American operations.

One informant, “Source 134992,” promised to write a report on “everything he knew about American intelligence gathering in Iraq was for sale: the locations of C.I.A. safe houses; the names of hotels where C.I.A. operatives met with agents; details of his weapons and surveillance training; the names of other Iraqis working as spies for the Americans.”

“I will turn over to you all the documents and videos that I have from my training course,” the Iraqi man told his Iranian handler, according to a 2014 Iranian intelligence document. “And pictures and identifying features of my fellow trainees and my subordinates.”

Another document shows Iranian efforts to recruit a State Department spy to provide “intelligence insights into the U.S. government’s plans in Iraq, whether it is for dealing with ISIS or any other covert operations.”

The report alleges that Iranian intelligence had already met with the unnamed individual, whose “incentive in collaborating will be financial,” but does not say whether the recruitment efforts succeeded.

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