Iran has been spying on Israel for years, with the help of its allies in Syria, according to a report published by the Pentagon and reported on Sunday by the World Tribune.
Signals intelligence stations are reportedly being set up by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) throughout the Middle East, and the US believes they are meant to supply information on Israel to the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah.
One of the SIGINT stations is located in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights, according to the Pentagon.
The report, entitled “Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security: A Profile,” was authored by the US Department of Defense with the help of Congress. It stated that “two Iranian-Syrian [signals intelligence] stations funded by the IRGC reportedly have been active since 2006, one in the Al Jazirah region in northern Syria and the other on the Golan Heights.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been publicly contemplating a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities for months, often appearing critical of the US administration for not setting a definitive “red line” for Tehran.
Iran, for its part, has consistently maintained that its nuclear program has no military component.
In recent weeks, news of US President Barack Obama’s nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel to the post of Defense Secretary garnered opposition from those who view Hagel as dovish on the issue of Iran.
The former senator has previously criticized the discussion of a military strike by either Israel or the US on the Islamic Republic, but appeared to moderate his views ahead of confirmation hearings in the US Senate.
Republicans, particularly, are expected to have some tough questions for Hagel at those hearings, with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham declaring earlier this month that Hagel would be “the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history.”
Former secretary of state Colin Powell defended Obama’s nomination of the former senator, pushing back on Sunday against those who have criticized Hagel on Iran and Israel.
“There are people who are very supportive of the state of Israel,” Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I’m very supportive of the state of Israel. So is Senator Hagel, and you’ll see that in the confirmation hearings, but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single position that the Israeli government takes.”