'Tehran removing key intel material from Damascus'
Intelligence said to include secret agreements, minutes of meetings reports relating to Iran’s support of Hezbollah.
Syrian President Assad meets Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Jalili, Feb 1, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Sana
Sources in the Syrian opposition claim that Iran has already begun transferring
its diplomatic and intelligence archives from Syria, according to the Iraqi
paper Azzaman on Monday.
The intelligence is said to include secret
agreements between Tehran and Damascus, minutes of meetings of senior officials
and reports relating to Iran’s support of Hezbollah from Syria.
the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and that the information could be
seized and used against it in international forums or serve as a justification
for a future attack on Tehran, the Iranian leadership decided to transfer the
documents to Tehran, according to the paper.
The decision comes after
Iranian Supreme National Security Council head Saeed Jalili visited Syria last
week, and also follows reports that Russia had removed its own classified
documents from its base in Tartus.
Sources also said that Assad had
rejected a previous request by Jalili to move the intelligence since it could
signal the instability of the regime, but that Assad had relented after
increased Iranian pressure.
However, given that the report originates
from the opposition, some say its validity should be confirmed in light of the
opposition agenda to make Assad look like he is about to fall and strengthen
The story’s sources also referred to a report in The
Washington Post on Sunday, which stated that Iran and Hezbollah were building a
militia network in Syria in the event that Assad falls, citing an Iranian claim
that it was backing as many as 50,000 militiamen there.