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Leaked intelligence cables show Tehran ‘grip’ on Iraq

A poster of Iraq Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, right, and Iran President Hassan Rouhani, left, hang on a building near Tahrir Square, during ongoing protests in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BEIRUT, Nov 18, (Agencies): The New York Times and The Intercept say they have reviewed hundreds of pages of purported Iranian intelligence documents that detail Iran’s massive influence in neighboring Iraq.

They say the unprecedented leak of 700 pages of Iranian intelligence cables shows Tehran’s efforts to embed itself in Iraq, including paying Iraqi agents working for the United States to switch sides.

Vanessa Gezari of The Intercept says her publication received the documents from an unknown source and that “we still don’t know who they’re from.” The Intercept shared the documents with the Times. Monday’s article about the documents comes amid growing anti- Iran sentiment expressed by Iraqi anti-government protesters. It also comes at a time of widespread antigovernment protests in Iran. There was no immediate comment from Iraqi or Iranian officials.

Iran has breached another limit of its nuclear deal with major powers by accumulating slightly more than 130 tonnes of heavy water, a substance used in a type of reactor it is developing, a UN nuclear watchdog report showed on Monday.

The limit is the latest in a series imposed by the deal that Iran has exceeded in protest at Washington’s withdrawal from the deal last year and its imposition of punishing economic sanctions against Tehran. Heavy water is not as sensitive as uranium, which Iran is enriching in a quantity and to a level of purity beyond limits in the deal. However, the 2015 deal says Iran should not have more heavy water than it needs, specifying this is estimated to be 130 metric tonnes.

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