Israeli agents kept an eye on Iran in Chile, cables say

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable indicates that Israel was working with Chile to spy on Iranian activities in South America.

According to the cable obtained by the Web site WikiLeaks, U.S. officials reported that Israel worked with the Chilean government to monitor what it called “unusual activity” by Iran’s envoy to Santiago.

The 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Santiago attributed the information to the Israeli military attaché in Chile, Yoeli Or.

It quoted Or as saying he worked with Chile’s investigative police and other agencies to share information and provide training when possible.

The diplomatic cable noted of the Iranians that “while there are no signs of affiliation with terrorist groups in Chile, the Chilean intelligence service and the Israeli government are screening for anything they deem suspicious.”

Or reportedly also said Israel was concerned about Iran’s growing influence in Venezuela and noted that there were 50 Iranians in Colombia with diplomatic passports. He also voiced concerns over possible Iranian influence on Chilean Muslim and Palestinian communities.

According to the leaked cable, Or said Israel would like to expand trade ties with Latin America, “in part to help balance Iran’s expanding influence in the region,” but that a lack of resources set back that effort.

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