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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BASRAH14 2006-01-31 10:19:00 SECRET//NOFORN REO Basrah
Cable title:  

BASRAH GOVERNOR OPENS DIALOGUE WITH THE U.S. REGIONAL

Tags:   PGOV PTER PREL IZ 
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VZCZCXRO7152
OO RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHBC #0014 0311019
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 311019Z JAN 06
FM REO BASRAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0239
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBC/REO BASRAH 0256
					  S E C R E T BASRAH 000014 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/31/2016
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL IZ
SUBJECT: BASRAH GOVERNOR OPENS DIALOGUE WITH THE U.S. REGIONAL
EMBASSY OFFICE AND SUGGESTS A WAY FORWARD

REF: (A) BASRAH 0010 (B) BASRAH 0012 (C) BASRAH 0013

CLASSIFIED BY: Mark Marrano, Deputy Regional Coordinator, Basrah
Regional Embassy Office, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)





1. (S/NF) Summary: The Deputy Regional Coordinator (DRC) met
with Basrah Governor Mohammed on January 30, to discuss the
current political situation in Basrah (see refs) and to search
for a way to move ahead. The Governor stated that the
Provincial Council (PC) had voted to boycott the British until
evidence was provided that proved the guilt of those arrested by
the British military. The Governor stated that the boycott was
still in effect since no evidence had been provided to the
Provincial Council. The Governor stated that the issue was one
of embarrassment for the entire Provincial Council. According to
the Governor, if the British provided the evidence, they would
accept the reasons behind the arrests by the British military.
The British seem willing to consider the request. End Summary.



2. (S/NF) The Governor accepted the invitation of the DRC to
meet at the REO to discuss the current political situation. The
Governor arrived late in the afternoon on a local holiday to
tell his side of the story. He began by denouncing the British
for training the previous Governor, Hasan Kazeem Hasan Al Rashid
(Badr), to work for British interests in Basrah. The Governor
then proceeded to denounce the Iranians for training SCIRI to
work for Iranian interests in Basrah. The Governor stated that
he has reliable information regarding Iranian intentions to have
him assassinated and will make it public soon.



3. (S/NF) The DRC asked the Governor if he was willing to
meet with the British Consul General to open a dialogue with
regards to the present situation. The Governor stated that he
was bound by the decision of the Provincial Council to boycott
the British until evidence was provided of the crimes of those
arrested. When the DRC pointed out that the letter issued by
the Provincial Council on January 25 only called for a boycott
till 1500hrs that day, the Governor remarked that the intent of
the PC members was to keep the boycott in place until the
British complied with their request. When asked by the DRC to
suggest a way forward, the Governor stated that the DRC should
organize a committee with the PC to open a dialogue with the
British.



4. (S/NF) The Governor stated that all Iraqis want security
and agree that those who commit crimes should be arrested.
However, according to the Governor, people must be informed of
the reasons why others are arrested. The Governor stated that
both the PC members and he were embarrassed by the arrests not
only because of the manner in which they were done (the British
military went to houses late at night and allegedly mistreated
those arrested), but because the British have yet to provide the
Provincial Council with evidence of the crimes of those
arrested. The Governor stated that if evidence is provided to
the PC members, they would accept the reasons why they were
arrested. The DRC mentioned that he would reach out to the
Chairman of the Provincial Council to form a committee and
present the PC request to the British.



5. (S/NF) After the meeting, the DRC spoke with the British
Consul General (CG) and provided a read out of the meeting. The
British CG stated that the Governor's claims of a boycott still
in effect were ridiculous. However, the CG did state that he was
willing to consider providing evidence of the crimes of those
who were arrested. He warned though that the evidence would be
"blunt." Both the DRC and the CG agreed that the Governor was
looking for a way out of the current situation by stating that
the issue was one of embarrassment. In addition, the DRC and
the CG both considered it significant that the Governor was not
demanding the release of the individuals, only evidence of their
crimes. The CG stated he was willing to consider providing such
evidence and use the DRC as the means to communicate with the
Governor.



6. (S/NF) Comment: The fact that the Governor accepted to
meet the DRC on a local holiday at the REO shows his willingness
to look for a way out of his current situation. The fact that
the Governor is now spinning the issue as a matter of
embarrassment for himself and the PC shows his eagerness to find
an acceptable solution for all concerned. The British have
little to gain from not allowing the Governor and PC members to
save face and therefore appear willing to at least consider
providing the evidence to show the crimes of those arrested. End
Comment.

MARRANO