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British GCHQ eavesdropping played role in US intelligence U-turn on Iran

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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:32 PM
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British GCHQ eavesdropping played role in US intelligence U-turn on Iran
Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Robert Tait in Tehran

Thursday December 6, 2007

The Guardian

The US intelligence U-turn on Iran was partly based on telephone conversations in Iran intercepted by the British intelligence listening station GCHQ, according to a source in Washington speaking on a basis of anonymity.


George Bush said on Tuesday that the decision to change the assessment was based on "a great discovery". Diplomatic and official sources in the US said this was mainly based on human intelligence, almost certainly a major defector, but that intercepts were also a factor.
According to the source, there was a lengthy time-lag between the conversations being intercepted by GCHQ and the US intelligence agencies checking out whether they were genuine or whether those involved knew they were being listened to and put out false information.


However, Ali Larijani, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator, who resigned in October over policy differences with Ahmadinejad, cautioned against seeing the report as a triumph and warned that it might presage a new phase of US pressure.

"The report refers to Iran's 2003 voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment, which we undertook to build trust, as resulting from threats and pressure," Larijani said. "This means they have got the wrong impression from Iran's suspension of enrichment. The intention of this part of the report is to claim that if we want Iran now to abandon its nuclear plan we should impose the policy of pressure again.",,2222752,00.html


Perhaps one reason this estimate was released is that the foreign intelligence organziations are refusing to keep quiet.
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