Israel and Chile Cooperated to Spy on Iran, WikiLeaks Reveals

Chile and Israel both expressed concern over growing ties between Venezuela and Iran, and well as the potential Iranian presence on border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, cable says.

Israel was working with the Chilean government to spy on the Iranian Embassy in Chile, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

A cable from the U.S. Embassy in Santiago to the State Department in Washington, dated July 21, 2008, stated that the Israeli military attache in Chile, Col. Yoeli Or, had informed his American counterpart of Israel's activities.

According to the cable, Or said "that he works with Chile's Investigative Police (PDI ) and 'other agencies' (presumably Chile's Intelligence Agency, ANI ), sharing information, and providing training when possible."

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

The diplomatic cable went on to report that Or had suggested that Israel do more to widen its trade ties with Latin America "to help balance Iran's expanding influence in the region," but that "competing priorities and a lack of resources" were preventing such efforts.

Or reportedly told the American diplomat that Israel was concerned over increased Iranian activities in Latin America, and that there were 50 Iranians in Colombia holding diplomatic passports.

American and Israeli concerns over Iranian influence in South America had begun the year before, according to another diplomatic cable from May 2007. In that wire, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago conveyed a message to the Chilean Foreign Ministry that it was concerned about the growing ties between Venezuela and Iran.

A senior official in the Chilean Foreign Ministry told American diplomats that the Chileans were also concerned over potential Iranian presence on the border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The official said Chilean intelligence operatives were watching Iranians in that region.