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U.S. report: Iran spying on Israel via stations in Syria, Golan

JTA

January 14, 2013 | 9:49 am

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 24. Photo by REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 24. Photo by REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Iran is spying on Israel via signals intelligence stations in northern Syria and the Golan Heights in cooperation with Hezbollah, according to a new report.

"Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security: A Profile," a joint report by the U.S. Department of Defense and Congress, says the two stations have been in operation since 2006.

"The technology at the two established SIGNIT stations indicates that Iran’s capabilities are still limited, with little scope for high-level strategic intelligence gathering," according to the report, which adds that the intelligence stations appear to concentrate on supplying information to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Two additional SIGNIT stations were expected to be in operation in northern Syria in January 2007, according to the report, but there is no information leading experts to believe they are actually operating.

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security provides Hezbollah in Lebanon with logistical and material support, and Hezbollah assists in its intelligence operations, according to the report.

The report also said that Iran has the capacity to collect intelligence through reconnaissance aircraft, but that the capability is limited to small military operations that use only a few reconnaissance planes.

The success of the Stuxnet virus, discovered in June 2010 when it affected the operation of computers in Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities and reportedly set back Iran's nuclear program by several months, "is an indication of the weakness of Iran’s cyber development," according to the report.

The report was issued last month by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under an agreement with the U.S. Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.

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