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Israel and Chile spied on Iran: WikiLeaks

Israel worked with Chile to spy on the Iranian ambassador in Santiago, as the Jewish state grew increasingly concerned about Tehran's influence in South America, a leaked US cable from 2008 showed.

world Updated: Feb 23, 2011 12:06 IST

Israel worked with Chile to spy on the Iranian ambassador in Santiago, as the Jewish state grew increasingly concerned about Tehran's influence in South America, a leaked US cable from 2008 showed.

"Israel is monitoring Iranian influence in the region, which includes enhanced Iranian diplomatic relations with Colombia and Venezuela," reads a cable sent from the US embassy in Santiago in July 2008, which was leaked to whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

"Israel is also watching as a growing number of Muslims immigrate to Chile," says the cable which was penned by Juan Alsace, an economic and political adviser to the US ambassador.

Quoting Israeli Defence Attache Yoeli Or, it says Israel was "working with the GOC (government of Chile) to monitor any unusual activities by the new Iranian ambassador" Kambiz Jalali. They were also monitoring around 37 Palestinian Muslim immigrants from the Iraqi-Syrian border who were resettled in Chile earlier in the year, it said, referring to an influx of Palestinians under a UN sponsored resettlement programme.

"While there are no signs of GOI (government of Iran) affiliation with terrorist groups in Chile, the Chilean intelligence service and the Israeli government are screening for anything they deem suspicious," it said.

Or told him Israel was concerned about Iran's "growing influence" in Venezuela and noted that there were 50 Iranians in Colombia who held diplomatic passports.