Iran, Syria sign secret new intelligence cooperation accord

Under the intelligence cooperation agreement Iran and Syria signed secretly in Tehran on June 27, thousands of Syrian intelligence and police officers will receive special training in Iran, debkafile‘s intelligence sources report. It was signed at the end of an unpublicized five-day visit to Tehran of Syria’s clandestine and security service chiefs headed by Gen. Fouad Sultan, superintendent of internal security. His opposite number was the director of the Iranian interior ministry’s external affairs department Ahmed Hosseini.
The accord they concluded is a crucial element in the deepening strategic relationship between Tehran and Damascus. It belies the contention by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and prime minister Ehud Olmert, accepted also by Washington, that the Syrian regime is about to desert its close alliance with Tehran and embrace the West. On the strength of this false premise, Olmert is pressing forward along his peace track with Syria, and Sarkozy invited president Bashar Assad to be his guest of honor at the Bastille Day parade of July 14.
While secretly bolstering his partnership with Iran, Assad has no trouble spreading the illusion of his willingness for a turn to the West, especially when his propaganda effort is promoted by none other than former Israel foreign ministry official Alon Liyel.
Liyal, calling himself “an Israeli diplomat” asserted in an interview to the July 6 Sunday Times that Damascus would sever its strategic ties with Tehran, Hizballah and Hamas for substantial American military and economic aid and Israel’s renunciation of the Golan. All this would happen, the ex-official promised, on Assad’s behalf, after the change of presidents in Washington.
debkafile‘s sources report that Liyel spoke without authority or factual corroboration about Assad’s intentions. He omitted to mention the fact that the Assad regime would have acquired a facility to produce fuel for Iran’s nuclear weapons program, were it not for Israel’s pre-emptive strike in September 2007. He also forgot that Damascus has for years provided friendly hospitality for the headquarters of the most extremist Palestinian terrorist groups and shown no sign that he means to evict them.

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