German media are reporting that U.S. intelligence began spying on current Chancellor Angela Merkel's predecessor in 2002 because of his opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Previous reports based on documents provided to German media by NSA leaker Edward Snowden indicated that Merkel's cell phone was targeted. She took office in 2005.

Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR reported Tuesday that Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder was added to the NSA's National Sigint Requirement List as number 388 in 2002.

Citing unnamed U.S. government officials and "NSA insiders" who were shown the Snowden documents the newspaper says Schroeder's confrontational stance on Iraq and concerns for the NATO alliance led to the move.

On its website Sueddeutsche Zeitung quotes Schroeder as saying he isn't surprised by the report.