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Monday, May 17, 2010

U.S. intelligence turns up surveillance ears on Turkey and Brazil

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

(WMR) -- WMR has learned from U.S. and Middle East intelligence sources that the Obama administration has authorized an increase in signals intelligence (SIGINT) gathering directed against Turkey and Brazil. Both nations are acting as intermediaries with Iran to hammer out a deal to swap uranium for Iran's low-enriched uranium used for its nuclear power generating needs for nuclear fuel from abroad.

As the UN Security Council debates applying new sanctions on Iran, Turkey and Brazil, which are opposed to new sanctions, are quietly negotiating between Tehran and Russia and China to ensure that there will be at least one permanent member Security Council veto of a sanctions resolution.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is due to visit Tehran next week for the G15 Summit, with the nuclear fuel for uranium deal seen as high on his agendas in talks with Iranian officials. Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, the nation's former chief nuclear negotiator, recently met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul. The nuclear swap deal was also high on the talk's agenda.

The independent initiatives of Turkey and Brazil has rankled the Obama administration and frequent dictator of its Iran foreign policy, Israel, which favor strong crippling sanctions on Iran.

The National Security Agency's (NSA) Regional Targets Section has applied a tactic on Turkey and Brazil used on the eve of the UN Security Council vote on authorizing military action on Iraq -- "surge" surveillance of the telephones and e-mail of the Turkish and Brazilian UN delegations conducted in January 2003. The surge surveillance is also being directed against key Turkish and Brazilian ministries and the nation's respective embassies in Moscow and Beijing. Turkey and Brazil are current non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Concerning the 2003 surge surveillance by NSA, on September 25, 2008, WMR reported: " . . . it has been discovered that the United States and United Kingdom wanted to intercept the office and home communications of the UN ambassadors of Pakistan, Chile, Angola, Guinea, Cameroon, and Mexico, six non-permanent members of the Security Council, to gather information that could be used to blackmail the ambassadors into voting for the US/UK Iraq war resolution. Ultimately, the Security Council refused to back the resolution."

Similar to the 2003 action by the Bush administration, the Obama administration is also turning up surveillance on other UN Security Council members' UN missions to ascertain their vote on Iranian sanctions. These include Japan, Uganda, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Gabon, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

There are strong indications that Uganda and Lebanon will vote no on sanctions with a possibility that Japan and Austria will join them in opposition or abstain. Turkey is suspected of using its influence in Bosnia and its new diplomatic forays into Gabon and Nigeria to press for no votes on sanctions. These activities are all of interest to NSA's Turkish communications interception personnel.

WMR has learned from State Department sources that the Obama administration is also pushing for secondary sanctions against nations that would continue to trade with Iran after the U.S. gets UN authorization for strong sanctions against Tehran. Such sanctions would be applied by the United States Treasury Department against companies in second countries that refuse to abide by sanctions with the primary targets being companies in Sweden, Austria, Cyprus, and Turkey.

The proposed UN Security Council text on sanctions being crafted by the United States, United Kingdom, and France is not being shared with the governments of Turkey and Brazil, the fear being that Ankara and Brasilia will share the text with Iranian officials. One Turkish official said, "The Americans are asking us to vote for a UN Security Council resolution we have not seen." Turkey and Brazil are not alone. Because of Uganda's and Lebanon's close ties with Iran, the UN delegations of both countries are not being shown the draft text of the Security Council sanctions resolution.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2010 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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