'Tehran removing key intel material from Damascus'

Intelligence said to include secret agreements, minutes of meetings reports relating to Iran’s support of Hezbollah.

By
February 14, 2013 02:50
1 minute read.
Syrian President Assad meets Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Jalili, Feb 1, 2013.

Assad meets with Iran's Jalili 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Sana)

 
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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.

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Fearing 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 their side.

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.

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