Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A protester hangs a poster of Iraq Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, right, and Iran President Hassan Rouhani, left, on a building near Tahrir Square during demonstrations in Baghdad, Iraq, on Nov. 6, 2019.

The Associated Press

Hundreds of pages of purported Iranian intelligence documents have come to light that detail Iran’s massive influence in neighbouring Iraq, The New York Times and The Intercept reported on Monday.

The unprecedented leak of 700 pages of what appears to be Iranian intelligence cables shows Tehran’s efforts to embed itself in Iraq and co-opt the country’s leaders, including paying Iraqi agents working for the United States to switch sides and infiltrate every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic and religious life, the news organizations said in a joint article.

The report named former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi as an official who was willing to have a relationship with Iranian intelligence and detailed a January 2015 meeting with an operative. Abadi denied the meeting took place in a statement Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

“We categorically deny the occurrence of such a meeting,” said a statement from Abadi’s office, adding that such a meeting does not exist in the former prime minister’s schedule.

The cables, written mainly in 2014-2015 at the height of the war against the Islamic State group after it seized large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria, show heavy interference by Tehran to keep Baghdad a pliant client state.

“We received these documents, we didn’t know who they were from, we still don’t know who they’re from,” says Vanessa Gezari, National Security Editor at The Intercept, which received the documents and shared them with the NYT.

Monday’s article about the documents comes amid growing anti-Iran sentiment expressed by Iraqi anti-government protesters who have been revolting in the streets since Oct. 1.

The protests in Iraq have exposed long-simmering resentment at Iran’s influence in the country, with protesters targeting Shiite political parties and militias with close ties to Tehran.

The leak also comes at a time of widespread anti-government protests in Iran itself after the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices by 50 per cent.

There was no immediate comment from Iraqi or Iranian officials.

Story continues below advertisement

In Iraq’s Tahrir Square, a protester said the article was being translated for protesters by English-speaking volunteers.

“Most of us were not surprised by what we read in the report. It was just a confirmation of our case and the information we already had,” one protester said, speaking on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies