WikiLeaks cables: U.N. craved info on Iran

April 18, 2011 at 12:22 PM   |   Comments

1 of 4
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department was interested in gathering as much information on Iran as possible, diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks indicated.

Taken together, the cables portray a government hungry for any information about Iran, even if it was incomplete or contradictory about a country where the United States hadn't had an official presence for about 30 years, McClatchy Newspapers reported Sunday.

The cables, filed by a corps of U.S. diplomats known as "Iran watchers," provided insight into Iran. Most are classified "confidential," a low-security classification, although a third were labeled "secret" or "secret/no forn," meaning they should be read only by U.S. diplomats, McClatchy said.

The communiques are based on phone calls and e-mails to and from sources inside Iran, interviews with members of Iranian rock bands touring neighboring countries, foreign journalists who've been to Iran and conversations with traveling Iranian businessmen, academics, and former officials.

An Iran-watcher source "is someone who wants a [U.S.] visa, who wants money, is an expatriate, or someone with an explicitly anti-Islamic Republic agenda," said Flynt Leverett, a former White House and CIA official now a professor of international affairs at Penn State University.

"The whole concept is really flawed," Leverett, a critic of U.S. Iran policy, told McClatchy Newspapers. "It's almost structurally designed to make sure we get skewed information."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Ailina Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon bomber's sister, arrested over alleged bomb threat
Major general stripped of title over handling of sexual abuse allegation
Texas man acquitted of killing man who killed his sons in DUI
Syrian militants seize Golan Heights border crossing
Canada offers Russia and 'Not Russia' a geography lesson
Trending News