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http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/04/13/wrus13.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/04/13/ixnewstop.html




Revealed: Russia spied on Blair for Saddam
By David Harrison
(Filed: 13/04/2003)


Top secret documents obtained by The Telegraph in Baghdad show that Russia provided Saddam Hussein's regime with wide-ranging assistance in the months leading up to the war, including intelligence on private conversations between Tony Blair and other Western leaders.

Moscow also provided Saddam with lists of assassins available for "hits" in the West and details of arms deals to neighbouring countries. The two countries also signed agreements to share intelligence, help each other to "obtain" visas for agents to go to other countries and to exchange information on the activities of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qa'eda leader.

The documents detailing the extent of the links between Russia and Saddam were obtained from the heavily bombed headquarters of the Iraqi intelligence service in Baghdad yesterday.

The sprawling complex, which for years struck fear into Iraqis, has been the target of looters and ordinary Iraqis searching for information about relatives who disappeared during Saddam's rule.

The documents, in Arabic, are mostly intelligence reports from anonymous agents and from the Iraqi embassy in Moscow. Tony Blair is referred to in a report dated March 5, 2002 and marked: "Subject - SECRET." In the letter, an Iraqi intelligence official explains that a Russian colleague had passed him details of a private conversation between Mr Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, at a meeting in Rome. The two had met for an annual summit on February 15, 2002, in Rome.

The document says that Mr Blair "referred to the negative things decided by the United States over Baghdad". It adds that Mr Blair refused to engage in any military action in Iraq at that time because British forces were still in Afghanistan and that nothing could be done until after the new Kabul government had been set up.

It is not known how the Russians obtained such potentially sensitive information, but the revelation that Moscow passed it on to Baghdad is likely to have a devastating effect on relations between Britain and Russia and come as a personal blow to Mr Blair. The Prime Minister declared a "new era" in relations with President Putin when they met in Moscow in October 2001 in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks.

In spite of warnings by the British intelligence and security services of increasing Russian espionage in the West, Mr Blair fostered closer relations with Mr Putin, visiting his family dacha near Moscow, supporting the Russians in their war in Chechnya, and arranging for the Russian president to have tea with the Queen.

Mr Blair was surprised and dismayed when Mr Putin joined France in threatening to veto the American and British resolution on Iraq in the UN, but continued to differentiate between President Putin and President Jacques Chirac.

The Prime Minister refused to join the French, German and Russian leaders in their summit on Iraq this weekend, but still regarded Mr Putin as an ally in global politics.

The list of assassins is referred to in a paper dated November 27, 2000. In it, an agent signing himself "SAB" says that the Russians have passed him a detailed list of killers. The letter does not describe any assignments that the assassins might be given but it indicates just how much Moscow was prepared to share with Baghdad. Another document, dated March 12, 2002, appears to confirm that Saddam had developed, or was developing nuclear weapons. The Russians warned Baghdad that if it refused to comply with the United Nations then that would give the United States "a cause to destroy any nuclear weapons".

A letter from the Iraqi embassy in Moscow shows that Russia kept Iraq informed about its arms deals with other countries in the Middle East. Correspondence, dated January 27, 2000, informed Baghdad that in 1999 Syria bought rockets from Russia in two separate batches valued at $65 million (£41 million) and $73 million (£46 million). It also says that Egypt bought surface-to-air missiles from Russia and that Kuwait - Saddam's old enemy - wanted to buy Russian arms to the value of $1 billion. The Russians also informed Iraq that China had bought military aircraft from Russia and Israel at the end of 1999.

Moscow also passed on information of Russians who could help Iraqi politicians obtain visas to go to many Western countries.

The name of Osama bin Laden appears in a number of Russian reports. Several give details of his support for the rebels in Chechnya. They say bin Laden had built two training camps in Afghanistan, near the Iranian border, to train mujahideen fighters for Russia's rebel republic. The camps could each hold 300 fighters, who were all funded by bin Laden.

Training materials found at the complex give insight into the Iraqi intelligence gathering methods. One certificate shows that a Rashid Jassim had passed an advance course in lock-picking.

Other papers found at the headquarters include reports on the succession in Saudi Arabia and on US-Yemen relations.

The intimate relationship between Baghdad and Moscow is further illustrated by copies of Christmas cards - in the Christian tradition - sent by Taher Jalil Habosh, the head of the Iraqi intelligence service, to his Kremlin counterpart.

Russia has been a key ally of Baghdad since the 1970s and was one of Saddam's main arms suppliers. The Iraqis are understood to owe Moscow more than £8 billion for arms shipments. Russian oil companies had longed to forge links with Saddam Hussein to help develop Iraq's vast oil reserves.

Discuss.
 

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Harsh allegations coming from telegraph


again this is all very new, though everyone knows iraq and russia have a good relationship...now then comes the question of how much of this was know and how much is news.

its well known in USA that Cheny's comapny halliburton sold arms to iraq in the 90's and yet the media overskirts the issue.

i dont see how it can help iraq to hear berlu and blair talk bout them..we all knew war would come and i doubt berlusconi or blair had much power over it.

The war was decided on by wolfowits cheny rumsfeld and bush after 9/11, they got Powell in on it and then upon seeing they may need UN so as to get US public to go along they got britain.

again i dont bleive this is news at all since if it was it be huge right now and it isnt. i imagine bush and blair knew of this just like i know bush tapped the french and german phones and has thier convo's on tape.

its politcs...dont see why u post it andrew...this kinda stuff is commonplace...jsut ask NIXON ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I post it because it shows a reason the Russian's were against the war in the first place.;)
 

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This coming from the newspaper that "revealed" that George Galloway was on the payroll of Sadaam, I'll remain sceptical.

The Telegraph is a load of Rupert Murdoch owned trash.
 

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RazorUK said:
I post it because it shows a reason the Russian's were against the war in the first place.;)
taht was obvious they said right away they are against it

why would any nation be pro war...that to me is the question war is awful and if any of you go thorugh it im sure you would agree, the fact that russia was agiasnt it from start makes me happy.
 

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The fact Russia are against war WOULD make me happy too if i knew they were against it for the right reasons.
 

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Gringo said:
The fact Russia are against war WOULD make me happy too if i knew they were against it for the right reasons.
again

no one is ever in for anything for the right reasons they do it for themselves

however id support someone who is against awar for selfish reasons then someone who is pro war for selfish reasons and thats where we differ.
 

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Lav said:
again

no one is ever in for anything for the right reasons they do it for themselves

however id support someone who is against awar for selfish reasons then someone who is pro war for selfish reasons and thats where we differ.
Thats where we dont differ.You seemed to have assumed i am for the War when i am not.The coalition arent there for the right reasons but it will benefit the Iraqi people longterm and how can anyone deny that also Saddam was a threat to the world and i am part of this world so that concernes me.It does annoy me however that Russia are staying out of it because of differant issues and not because they want peace which is what there getting credited for.
 

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Credit?

from whom?

i give them credit for not supporting war.

no one ever belived they did it for the goodness of iraqi ppl
 

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France,Russia and China all got credit for not getting involved but to my knowlege only China seem to be the ones who actualyy didnt want the war no strings attached.
 

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they were busy covering up SARS
 

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Gringo said:
France,Russia and China all got credit for not getting involved but to my knowlege only China seem to be the ones who actualyy didnt want the war no strings attached.
Its very interesting really, isn't it. I mean, well done to these country's for maintaining their moral integrity. And after all, lets face it, Russia is a little busy with the 'terrorists' in Chechyna, and China is a little bit preoccupied with the 'Fulon Gon' (excuse my spelling) and the 'Islamic insurgents' in the southern and western provinces, to be getting involved in an unjust war. Hmmm...forgot about France. Oh well, easily done these days;)
 

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Is any of this some type of suprise to all of you? Governments make alliances, buy and sell arms, spy on one another (even, oh the horrah, when they are ostensibly "allies" or "friends") and do a lot of things for a lot of reasons. Of course the countries that were "against" the the war were against it for their own selfish reasons, just as those who were "for" it were for it for theirs. Reasons of spheres of influence, power, money, control of resources, saving face, quixotic reasons, shifting alliances, paybacks, pay forwards, its all there in the game of politics, and all there, in spades, in this particular epeisode of 21st century diplomacy. Acting all shocked about it is kind of silly, really. Are you truly suprised by any of this? If so, I've a bridge in San Francisco that I'll sell you for a song... ;)

RIO
 

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Wow! What a surprise! Countries with competing interests trying to screw each other over. Surely, I could not see this coming...
 

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Gringo said:
how can anyone deny that also Saddam was a threat to the world
:dielaugh: Saddam was a threat to the world? Please.
 

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Gringo said:
how can anyone deny that also Saddam was a threat to the world and i am part of this world so that concernes me.
What part of your world has he actually threatened? And which of the weapons of mass destruction in his infinite arsenal did you think he would have used?

Honestly, I find other issues like a headache to be more of a threat.
 

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Gringo said:
and China all got credit for not getting involved but to my knowlege only China seem to be the ones who actualyy didnt want the war no strings attached.
They shouldn't complain about conquering and occupating as long as they do that themself.
 

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Andrix said:
Wow! What a surprise! Countries with competing interests trying to screw each other over. Surely, I could not see this coming...
Hypocracy is common place in politics, true enough. But seems the moral high-ground from the usual Simon-pure brigade is only worth climbing when it's the US playing in it.

Now, there's real shock.
 
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