Mossad used UNSCOM to infiltrate Iraq

BAGHDAD, Nov 2 (South News) -Iraq's foreign minister on Monday charged members of Israel's intelligence service Mossad used the UN Special Commissionfor Iraqi disarmament to infiltrate the sanctions-hit state.

Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf claimed there were four people who "belonged to the Iraqi section of Mossad who visited Iraq within the framework of UNSCOM's missions."

He gave their names as Colonel Rony Hakham Khadury, Commander Nissim Shimani, Gideon Shimoni and Colonel Friedman Yacov Ricon.

"They came under borrowed names to collect information for the Zionist and American intelligence services," he told the Iraqi parliament, which met in an emergency session Monday.

UNSCOM chief Richard Butler acknowledged early last month that his mission had worked with Israel after reports in the Washington Post that inspectors had shared intelligence with the Jewish state from US spy planes on loan to UNSCOM.

Meanwhile Iraq's parliamentary speaker Saadun Hammadi held talks on the crisis on Monday with visiting Russian Liberal-Democratic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Iraqi news agency INA reported.

During their discussions Hammadi thanked Russia for supporting Baghdad over its demands for eight-year-old UN sanctions to be lifted, it said.

"Zhirinovsky voiced his and his parliamentary bloc's complete readiness to take measures to support Iraq and adopt stands to lift the sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people," the agency said.

The leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, who arrived here on Saturday with humanitarian aid, also called for bilateral cooperation to be increased in various fields.

In a furter development Baghdad warned Prague on Monday that its hosting of the production studios for a new subversive US-funded radio service to Iraq could damage relations.

"The establishment of an anti-Baghdad radio is a negative development which could have an impact on future economic and trade ties," Foreign Minister Mohammad Said Al-Sahhaf told the INA news agency .

Radio Free Iraq, whose programmes are produced by the studios of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Prague, started broadcasts on Friday. The radio's director David Newton is a former US ambassador to Iraq.

Last month, US Congress voted to permit the Clinton administration to spend 97 million U.S. dollars on military aid for opposition groups in Iraq.

The "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" also allows two million US dollars in funding to opposition groups for radio and television broadcasts into Iraq.