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West's human rights controversy exposed in Libya

Sorouri: HRW Exposes America's False Claims

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, Sept. 4 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian MP says the disclosure of secret documents showing close cooperation of the Western intelligence agencies with the former Libyan regime exposed the false and controversial claims of the US and its close allies in defending democracy.
Sunday, September 04, 2011 8:00:14 PM
Sorouri: HRW Exposes America's False Claims

Parviz Sorouri, a top member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) who made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Sunday, was commenting on disclosure of a cache of secret documents by Human Rights Watch which revealed that the British spying agency MI6 and its American counterpart CIA maintained an intimate relationship with Libyan regime under Muammar Gaddafi dating back as early as 2002.

Sorouri said in the eyes of Washington human rights are meant only for American citizens, adding that the US's pivotal interests did not let it think of anyone other than itself.

On this basis, the lawmaker noted, the US is trying to establish contacts with the new revolutionary governments in the region. "As the US claims to be supporting the people of Libya the disclosure of the secret documents shows that it has had extensive relations with the Gaddafi regime."

Sorouri believes the controversial US policy originates from the fact that Washington wants the regional countries to stay dependent on the US forever. "The US always displays contradictory behavior in order to sell its arms and maintain its illegitimate presence in Libya."

The MP concluded by saying that the HRW documents show that the US is only thinking of its own interests and its double standards are aimed at undermining Islamic states and attaining its own goals.

The UK and US governments had been closely cooperating with the former dictator's agents even when they imposed sanctions on Libya on the pretext of human rights' violations and running nuclear weapons program, according to the newly released documents.

Britain's MI6 had even been cooperating with the despotic regime before CIA had set up a permanent mission in the country in 2004, the documents show.

This is while the UN sanctions against the North African country were lifted in September 2003 and the US ended its unilateral economic embargo against Libya on September 20, 2004, after Gaddafi renounced its nuclear weapons program under pressure from the US and its allies, media reports said.

The then British authorities helped write a draft speech for Colonel Gaddafi when he decided to give in to outside pressure, according to the documents. Further documents disclosed how, at the same time, the US and UK acted on behalf of Libya in conducting negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The documents were unearthed by Human Rights Watch at the private offices of Moussa Koussa, Col Gaddafi's right hand man, and regime's security chief, who defected to Britain in the days following the February revolution.

The papers give details about former Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Tripoli - with the vignette that it was Blair's office that requested that the meeting take place in a tent.

A letter from an MI6 official to Koussa stated "No 10 are keen that the Prime Minister meet the Leader in the tent. I don't know why the English are fascinated by tents. The plain fact is that the journalists would love it."

Meanwhile, the secret documents also showed that the UK spying agency MI6 passed details of exiled Libyan opponents to Gaddafi's spies, so as to facilitate their capture.

Asked about the claims on Saturday, Foreign Secretary William Hague said 'all our discussions' were focused on plans for the future of Libya.

“On the subject of these apparent disclosures, first of all they relate to a period under the previous government so I have no knowledge of those, of what was happening behind the scenes at that time,” he told Sky News.

“Also we don't comment, I can't comment on intelligence matters on that or any other aspect of intelligence matters because, as people understand, once we start on that there's no end to that”, he said as he tried to put the blame on other people.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "It is the long-standing policy of the government not to comment on intelligence matters."

The documents also show how the CIA worked with the Gaddafi regime on the highly controversial rendition of terror suspects.

According to The New York Times, US spying services sent terror suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country's reputation for torture.

In return, the Libyan regime asked to be sent Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq, who was an opposition leader at the time, the report said.

A CIA case officer wrote back in March 2004: "we are committed to developing this relationship for the benefit of both our services," and promised to do their best to locate him, according to the report.

Human Rights Watch said it had learned from the documents that Sadiq was a nom de guerre for Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who is now a military leader for the Libyan revolutionaries, the report noted.

The CIA transported dozens of terror suspects around the world following the 9/11 attacks through secret rendition flights often for interrogation in third countries.

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