Spy Cables: SA ‘concerned’ about Iran operations

2015-02-24 09:44

Efforts to use secret front companies by Iran to beat western-imposed sanctions have raised concerns within South Africa’s State Security Agency, according to leaked spy cables obtained by Al Jazeera.

The news organisation announced yesterday that it was in possession of leaked documents from security agency operatives showing how South Africa became vulnerable to foreign espionage after the end of apartheid.

The leaked secret South African intelligence reports – dubbed the Spy Cables – provide a detailed account of Tehran’s allegedly official and unofficial channels in South Africa, as well as open diplomatic channels, to work around trade restrictions to obtain arms manufacture and other industries.

According to Al Jazeera, the Spy Cables also expose that Iran approached South Africa’s government to avoid international sanctions imposed by the West.

It claims that former president Thabo Mbeki had met with senior Iranian officials on two occasions about their nuclear programme.


According to the cable a month after the September 2005 meeting, an Iranian delegation headed by a “Mr Rowhani” – likely to be current Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani – met Mbeki, according to the source.

The nature of the discussions was a request from the Iranian government to South Africa’s government to assist Iran with their nuclear programme and to provide technical advice and technology, the document says.

The 128-page “Operational Target Analysis” was written by South African spies and profiles dozens of alleged Iranian operatives, listing their names, cover stories, families, addresses and phone numbers.

According to Al Jazeera. a South African spy is heard commenting that the advanced level of South Africa’s technologies in the aerospace industry, especially in the missile guidance field, has increasingly become a focal point … It is foreseen that these industries will be targeted for procurement processes.

Read the 128-page “Operational Target Analysis” here.

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