- U/S BURNS’ AUGUST 17 MEETING WITH ISRAELI MOSSAD
- Secret EU plot to boycott Ahmadinejad inauguration
- TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN
- Η Κίνα και η Google
- Η εξαφάνιση της Βόρειας Κορέας
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U/S BURNS’ AUGUST 17 MEETING WITH ISRAELI MOSSAD
Friday, 31 August 2007, 12:45
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 TEL AVIV 002652
EO 12958 DECL: 08/24/2017
TAGS PREL, PTER, MARR, MASS, KNNP, UNSC, PK, IR, IZ, ZP“>ZP,
JO, EG, RS“>RS, CH, LE, SY, IS
SUBJECT: U/S BURNS’ AUGUST 17 MEETING WITH ISRAELI MOSSAD
CHIEF MEIR DAGAN
Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones. Reasons: 1.4 (b)(d).
THE SECURITY ASSISTANCE MOU AND ISRAEL’S QME
3. (S) Dagan observed that the signing of the MOU on security assistance could not have come at a better time, and stressed that Israel appreciated America’s support. The Under Secretary agreed about the timing, noting that the U.S., Israel and like-minded countries were facing multiple threats around the world, and that the Middle East is a very dangerous region. He said that the MOU serves as a concrete reminder that the U.S. stands by its long-term security commitments to its friends, and is ready to help them with their needs. The Under Secretary noted that the Middle East is now at the heart of American interests. Because Egypt also plays a vital role in the region, the U.S. would also renew its security assistance commitment to that country. U.S. relations with the Gulf states were longstanding, and America would stay true to those friendships, as well. The Under Secretary stressed that the USG is committed to Israel’s QME. He noted that the majority of systems and equipment that the U.S. would sell to Egypt and other Arab partners would replace items that had been sold to those countries in the past.
DAGAN REVIEWS MIDDLE EAST, PAKISTAN, TURKEY
4. (S) Assessing the region, Dagan said Israel sees itself in the middle of a rapidly changing environment, in which the fate of one Middle Eastern country is connected to another. Dagan then said he was concerned about how long Pakistani President Musharraf would survive: “He is facing a serious problem with the militants. Pakistan’s nuclear capability could end up in the hands of an Islamic regime.” Turning to Iran, Dagan observed that it is in a transition period. There is debate among the leadership between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad and their respective supporters. Instability in Iran is driven by inflation and tension among ethnic minorities. This, Dagan said, presents unique opportunities, and Israelis and Americans might see a change in Iran in
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their lifetimes. As for Iraq, it may end up a weak, federal state comprised of three cantons or entities, one each belonging to the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias.
5. (S) Dagan said that the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia are concerned about the growing importance of Iran and its influence on them. They are taking precautions, trying to increase their own military defensive capabilities. Referring to the Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD), Dagan warned that these countries would not be able to cope with the amount of weapons systems they intend to acquire: “They do not use the weapons effectively.”
6. (S) Dagan said that Jordan has successfully faced down threats from the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and that Egypt is struggling with the question of who will replace President Mubarak. He said he sees no hope for the Palestinians, and that Israel looks at Syria and Lebanon, and sees only instability. Further afield, it looks at Turkey and sees Islamists gaining momentum there. The question, he asked, is how long Turkey’s military — viewing itself as the defender of Turkey’s secular identity — will remain quiet.
7. (S) If Israel’s neighborhood were not unstable enough, Dagan observed, it did not help that Russia is playing a “very negative role” in the region. He observed that all of these challenges have to be addressed globally — they could not be dealt with individually. Returning to Jordan as an example, he noted that the more than one million Iraqi refugees in Jordan were changing Jordanian society, and forcing it into a new relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is evidenced by Saudi King Abdullah’s recent visit to Jordan, which implies greater understanding between the Jordanians and the Saudis.
DISCUSSION OF THE GULF SECURITY DIALOGUE
8. (S) Turning to the Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD), Dagan said that enhancing the capabilities of the Gulf states “is the right direction to go,” especially as they are afraid of Iran. Such a U.S. commitment will be a stabilizing factor in the region. Dagan clarified that he would not oppose U.S. security assistance to America’s Arab partners. He expressed concern, nevertheless, about the current policies of those partners — especially with regards to Syria and Iran. Dagan added that if those countries must choose between buying defensive systems from the U.S. or France, then he would prefer they buy systems from the U.S., as this would bring them closer to the U.S.
9. (S) Dagan observed that the challenge facing the U.S. now is how to unite the Gulf states under a shared policy, and pointed to Qatar as the weakest link in the chain, trying to play all sides. Under Secretary Burns replied that the U.S. is trying to get Qatar and its neighbors to look at issues from a regional perspective, and to focus on threats in a unified way. Acting PM Assistant Secretary Mull expressed understanding for Israel’s frustration with how the region looked, but stressed nevertheless that if America did not engage the Gulf states through the GSD, the situation would become much worse. It is critical to get the Gulf states focused on the Iran threat, and to adopt a regional approach to countering it. Encouraging and supporting their counterproliferation efforts would be crucial. Dagan said he agreed with this approach, stressing that the threat of radical Islam is real.
IRAN: DAGAN REVIEWS ISRAEL’S FIVE PILLAR STRATEGY
10. (S) Dagan led discussion on Iran by pointing out that the U.S. and Israel have different timetables concerning when Iran is likely to acquire a nuclear capability. He clarified that the Israel Atomic Energy Commission’s (IAEC) timetable is purely technical in nature, while the Mossad’s considers other factors, including the regime’s determination to succeed. While Dagan acknowledged that there is still time to “resolve” the Iran nuclear crisis, he stressed that Iran is making a great effort to achieve a nuclear capability: “The threat is obvious, even if we have a different timetable. If we want to postpone their acquisition of a
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nuclear capability, then we have to invest time and effort ourselves.”
11. (S) Dagan described how the Israeli strategy consists of five pillars:
A) Political Approach: Dagan praised efforts to bring Iran before the UNSC, and signaled his agreement with the pursuit of a third sanctions resolution. He acknowledged that pressure on Iran is building up, but said this approach alone will not resolve the crisis. He stressed that the timetable for political action is different than the nuclear project’s timetable.
B) Covert Measures: Dagan and the Under Secretary agreed not to discuss this approach in the larger group setting.
C) Counterproliferation: Dagan underscored the need to prevent know-how and technology from making their way to Iran, and said that more can be done in this area.
D) Sanctions: Dagan said that the biggest successes had so far been in this area. Three Iranian banks are on the verge of collapse. The financial sanctions are having a nationwide impact. Iran’s regime can no longer just deal with the bankers themselves.
E) Force Regime Change: Dagan said that more should be done to foment regime change in Iran, possibly with the support of student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris, Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime.
12. (S) Dagan clarified that the U.S., Israel and like-minded countries must push on all five pillars at the same time. Some are bearing fruit now; others would bear fruit in due time, especially if more attention were placed on them. Dagan urged more attention on regime change, asserting that more could be done to develop the identities of ethnic minorities in Iran. He said he was sure that Israel and the U.S. could “change the ruling regime in Iran, and its attitude towards backing terror regimes.” He added, “We could also get them to delay their nuclear project. Iran could become a normal state.”
13. (S) Dagan stressed that Iran has weak spots that can be exploited. According to his information, unemployment exceeds 30 percent nationwide, with some towns and villages experiencing 50 percent unemployment, especially among 17-30 year olds. Inflation averages more than 40 percent, and people are criticizing the government for investing in and sponsoring Hamas, saying that they government should invest in Iran itself. “The economy is hurting,” he said, “and this is provoking a real crisis among Iran’s leaders.” He added that Iran’s minorities are “raising their heads, and are tempted to resort to violence.”
14. (S) Dagan suggested that more could be done to get the Europeans to take a tougher stand against Iran. Under Secretary Burns agreed, and suggested that Israel could help
SIPDIS by reaching out to the Europeans. Dagan said that Israel is already doing this, and would continue to do so. Dagan reiterated the need to strike at Iran’s heart by engaging with its people directly. Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts are important, but more radio transmissions in Farsi are needed. Coordination with the Gulf states is helpful, but the U.S. should also coordinate with Azerbaijan and countries to the north of Iran, to put pressure on Iran. Russia, he said, would be annoyed, but it would be fitting, as Russia appears bent on showing the U.S. that it cannot act globally without considering Russia.
15. (S) Under Secretary Burns stressed that the USG is focused on Iran not only because of its nuclear program, but also because it supports terrorism and Shiite militias in Iraq. The U.S. approach is currently focused on the diplomatic track and increasing pressure on Iran through sanctions. Work in the UNSC helps to define the Iranian nuclear threat as one that affects international security, and not just that of Israel. While UNSC members Russia, China and Qatar will water down efforts to increase pressure on Iran, it is still worthwhile to push for a third sanctions resolution. In the meantime, the U.S. will encourage the Europeans, Japan and South Korea to implement unilateral sanctions against Iran outside the UNSC framework. The U.S.
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will continue to encourage banks and financial institutions to slow down their operations in Iran and financially isolate it. Regarding military pressure, the Under Secretary noted that the U.S. has deployed 1-2 carrier battle groups in the Gulf over the last six months, and that President Bush has stated that he will interrupt Iran’s activity in Iraq. As for outreach to the Iranian people, the VOA is now broadcasting programs in Farsi, and the USG is trying to get more Iranian students to visit the U.S. to promote people-to-people relations.
PAKISTAN: ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT MUSHARRAF
16. (S) On Pakistan, Dagan said that President Musharraf is losing control, and that some of his coalition partners could threaten him in the future. The key question, Dagan said, is whether Musharraf retains his commander-in-chief role in addition to his role as president. If not, he will have problems. Dagan observed that there has been an increase in the number of attempts on Musharraf’s life, and wondered whether he will survive the next few years. Under Secretary Burns replied that South Asia has assumed vital importance in American foreign policy since September 11. The U.S. is committed to denying Afghanistan as a safe-haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda activity. The USG will continue to support Pakistani President Musharraf, and is seeking to boost his military defensive capabilities. At the same time, the U.S. is encouraging Pakistan and Afghanistan to work with each other militarily. Turning to India, Under Secretary Burns noted that U.S.-Indian economic cooperation is growing, and that the USG is working effectively to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan.
LEBANON: DAGAN URGES CAUTION
17. (S) Dagan urged caution with respect to Lebanon, noting that the results of efforts there to bolster the Siniora government would impact Syria and Iraq. The U.S. and Israel, he said, are on the edge of achieving something in Lebanon, and so cannot afford to drop their guard. What is necessary is finding the right way to support PM Siniora. “He is a courageous man,” Dagan said. Syria, Iran and Hizballah are working hard against him. Dagan noted that much of what is animating the leadership of Lebanon to take on Syria is personal: “Hariri, Jumblat and others had their parents executed by the Syrians.” This anti-Syrian sentiment has forged an alliance based on personal and national interests. Siniora has worked well with the situation, but Dagan suggested that the odds are against him. Under Secretary Burns replied that the U.S. is trying to give PM Siniora as much support as possible, and that we would continue to consult closely with Israel on Lebanon. He noted that he would return to Israel in October.
18, (SBU) Accompanying Under Secretary Burns in the meeting were: — Ambassador Richard H. Jones — Acting PM Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull — Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Mary Beth Long — NEA/IPA Deputy Director Nicole Shampaine — Embassy Tel Aviv Counselor for Political Research — Embassy Tel Aviv Political-Military Officer (notetaker)
19. (SBU) Accompanying Mossad Chief Meir Dagan in the meeting were: — Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Salai Meridor — Advisor to Foreign Minister Livni Omer Caspi — Two unidentified Mossad officials
20. (U) Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns cleared on this cable.
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TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN
TAGS KNNP, PREL, TU, IR
SUBJECT: TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN
REF: ANKARA 1626
Classified By: Ambassador James Jeffrey, for reasons 1.4(b,d)
1. (S) Iran dominated A/S Gordon’s 40-minute meeting November 12 with Foreign Minister Davutoglu. The FM had just gotten off the phone with El-Baradei and had discussed in detail the IAEA proposal to send Iran’s low enriched uranium to Turkey. El-Baradei had said he would “call Washington” that same morning. This had followed two long “harsh” sessions with the Iranians in Istanbul on Sunday evening. The Iranians have said they are willing to meet with Solana, but have told the Turks that they have serious problems with Cooper and the British. They have “more trust” in the U.S. The Iranians would also prefer to get fuel from the U.S. rather than the Russians.
2. (S) Davutoglu said the Iranians: a) are ready to send a delegation to Vienna to work out the specifics on this proposal; b) have given their “full trust” to Turkey; c) continue to face serious domestic problems inside Iran. He said the Turks actually see Ahmadinejad as “more flexible” than others who are inside the Iranian Government. Ahmadinejad is facing “huge pressure” after statements from some P5 members to the effect that a nuclear deal would succeed in weakening Iran,s nuclear capability — which is interpreted by some circles in Iran as a virtual defeat.
3. (S) Given this context, the Turks had asked Ahmadinejad if the core of the issue is psychological rather than substance. Ahmadinejad had said “yes,” that the Iranians agree to the proposal but need to manage the public perception. Accordingly, the Iranians are proposing that the first 400 kilos be transferred to Kish Island — thereby keeping it on Iranian soil — and would receive right away an equivalent amount (30-50 kilos) of enriched fuel. The second stage would focus on the management of Iranian public opinion, after which Tehran would proceed with the Turkey option for the remaining 800 kilos, probably in two tranches. Davutoglu said Baradei agreed to consider this.
4. (S) Davutoglu noted that he had spoken to NSA General Jones Wednesday, who had said that we should perhaps suggest to the Iranians that they transfer 600 kilos to Kish Island and 600 kilos to Turkey simultaneously. A/S Gordon said he could not give an official response to the proposal as this is the first time we heard it, but that he anticipates much skepticism about providing fuel to Iran before all the LEU has been taken out. It would be better to get all 1200 kilos out right away.
5. (C) Davutoglu noted that these are two different proposals. The first is Iran’s request for fuel for its nuclear reactor. Even if this takes place, he said, we still need to work on limiting Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability. If we succeed with this proposal, he said, it will create “confidence” and a “new momentum” and would allow room for negotiation.
6. (C) Noting that Davutoglu had only addressed the negative consequences of sanctions or the use of military force, Gordon pressed Davutoglu on Ankara’s assessment of the consequences if Iran gets a nuclear weapon. Davutoglu gave a spirited reply, that “of course” Turkey was aware of this risk. This is precisely why Turkey is working so hard with the Iranians. President Gul himself had spent two hours Sunday with Ahmadinejad in Istanbul.
7. (C) Gordon noted that while we acknowledge that Turkey can be helpful as a mediator, some of the Prime Minister’s recent public comments raise questions about how Turkey sees this issue. Davutoglu said he is aware of these concerns, but contended that the Guardian newspaper had not accurately presented its recent interview with the Prime Minister. The PM’s comments had been taken out of context. Erdogan had been asked if he views Iran as a friend. If he had said “no,” it would not have been possible to convince Tehran to cooperate on this latest proposal. Only Turkey can speak bluntly and critically to the Iranians, Davutoglu contended, but only because Ankara is showing public messages of friendship.
8. (C) Gordon pushed back that Ankara should give a stern public message about the consequences if UN resolutions are ignored. Davutoglu countered that Erdogan had given just such a statement in Tehran when he visited. He emphasized that Turkey’s foreign policy is giving a “sense of justice” and a “sense of vision” to the region. Turkey has provided a “third option” in addition to Iran and the Saudis (who he contended are viewed as “puppets” of the US). The result, he said, is that we “limit Iranian influence in the region.” We
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need a “pro-Western approach AND a sense of justice.”
9. (C) A/S Gordon has cleared this cable.
“Visit Ankara’s Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.s gov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey”
Secret EU plot to boycott Ahmadinejad inauguration
European Union ambassadors in Tehran jointly agreed to boycott the inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president after the disputed election in 2009 but kept the plan secret from the Iranian authorities to ensure their invitations were not withdrawn in advance.
France’s top Middle East official told US diplomats in Paris: “It’s hard to keep a secret when 27 nations are involved but we are trying,” according to a secret diplomatic cable In the end only Sweden, then running the EU presidency, was represented by an ambassador. All other member states sent less senior officials.
But Jean-Christophe Paucelle sounded “defensive” when he explained that all EU envoys would still attend a separate inauguration ceremony in the Iranian parliament, admitting that the issue had generated “tense and fractious” debate among European foreign ministers. “We are caught between two conflicting objectives,” Paucelle explained.
“On the one hand we want to communicate that we do not approve of this illegitimate election. On the other hand we need to be realistic: power is in the hands of (supreme leader) Khameini and Ahmadinejad, including the nuclear file, and we must negotiate with those in power. You are in the same position.”
The US has not had an embassy in Tehran since diplomatic relations were severed after the 1979 overthrow of the Shah and the Islamic revolution.
Paucelle said the EU would continue to respect what he described as “the Durban red lines” – dating back to the 2001 anti-racism conference in South Africa that had been hostile to Israel. “We will walk right out if Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust or declares that his regime will destroy Israel.”
Paucelle admitted that since non-Muslims had never before received an invitation to an inauguration ceremony presided over by Iran’s supreme leader, EU diplomats in Tehran had never entered the building where the event was to take place and were not sure about the practicalities of walking out if they needed to. “They are worried that the doors may be locked,” he said.
The British ambassador, Simon Gass, also attended the 5 August parliamentary event, though as a recent arrival in Tehran he had not yet formally presented his diplomatic credentials. “The Iranians are desperate for recognition and so they have disregarded their usual devotion to protocol – and their anti-British vitriol – on this occasion,” the French official reported.