wikileaks

Leak describes intelligence cooperation

"It is no surprise"
3:45 min

According to the leaked telegrams that have been quoted in several Swedish newspapers today the public is not fully aware of just how deep the cooperation between Sweden and the USA goes on defence matters and also on intelligence gathering.

In one of the leaked telegrams the former US Ambassador Michael Wood says that Sweden has been making a "significant contribution" to the US government's "understanding of events inside the Russian military" and also sharing important information about the Iranian nuclear programme.

Said Mahmoudi is a professor in International Law at Stockholm's university. He says that the information that is being passed on to the USA about Iran probably relates to the trade restrictions that the USA decided to impose in 2003, after fears that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

"The Swedish police discovered suspected transactions by Iranians residing in Sweden. This investigation has probably been communicated to the US in more detail than what was publicly known in Sweden."

But he adds that this is not sensational news, and that it does not mean that the Swedish government has been spying on the community of exiled Iranians in Sweden.

The response from Sweden's government politicians has mostly been silence, or to downplay the importance of the documents.

The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that Sten Tolgfors has contacted them and said, in a text message, that he doesn't see anything really surprising in the news, nor any reason to comment.

Meanwhile Allan Widman, who is the foreign policy spokesman of the liberal Folkpartiet, which is in the coalition government, says to Swedish radio that there has been a big change in Sweden's security policy under recent Social Democrat and Alliance governments.

He says that the then US ambassador Michael Wood was mistaken when he described Sweden as seeking to stand outside of alliances with other counties and to be neutral during war time.

Widman adds, that this change in defence policy has happened gradually and that there has not also been a proper public debate about this.

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