|06DOHA1791||2006-12-28 11:16:00||SECRET||Embassy Doha|
ACTION NEA-00 INFO LOG-00 AF-00 ACQ-00 DODE-00 WHA-00 EAP-00 EUR-00 VCI-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 MOF-00 AC-00 VCIE-00 NSAE-00 ISN-00 NSCE-00 OMB-00 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 ISNE-00 SP-00 SS-00 SVC-00 TRSE-00 T-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DRL-00 G-00 SCA-00 SAS-00 /000W ------------------629C72 281308Z /62 P 281116Z DEC 06 FM AMEMBASSY DOHA TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5976 CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY INFO IRAN COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T DOHA 001791
1. (S) Summary. A Qatar-based Jordanian nuclear expert
believes he and other participants of an IAEA workshop in
Tehran in December were targeted by internal security
services. He said the Iranian nuclear agency had increased
its security. The Iranian official in charge of safety at the
Bushehr plant is not adequately trained, he said. He believes
"Persians" aim to dominate the region. End Summary.
2. (S) Dr. Ahmed al-Khatibeh, director of nuclear
applications at Qatar's Supreme Council for the Environment
and Natural Reserves, described his negative view of aspects
of a mid-December regional training program in Tehran
sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Al-Khatibeh said he did not attend the first week because it
conflicted with responsibilities during Doha's Asian Games,
but he was a trainer/presenter during the second week. The
workshop was aimed at the Middle East/Central Asia region and
dealt with "emergency response for first responders." He was
the only participant from Qatar.
3. (S) Al-Khatibeh said that course participants were
surveilled by two persons in an old car whenever they left
their hotel. On one occasion, al-Khatibeh and one other man
were accosted by the two, who said they were police and
demanded identification. Al-Khatibeh asked to see their
credentials, at which point they withdrew. Al-Khatibeh
reported the incident to the Iranian organizers and warned
the other participants. Nevertheless, two other particpants
were accosted in a similar manner and were robbed of
substantial sums of cash. Later, a thief cut the strap of the
purse of a female participant and made off with it.
Al-Khatibeh said that the two suspects in the car appeared to
know the times the group members would leave the hotel. He
felt the Iranian host agency was unresponsive and did not
want incidents reported to the IAEA.
4. (S) Al-Khatibeh said that the Iranian police were informed
of the thefts. He was suspicious that they said they located
the car "within ten minutes" of the report, although Tehran
is a huge city, and the suspects were not apprehended.
Security at Agency HQ in Tehran
5. (S) Al-Khatibeh said that increased security at the
Iranian nuclear agency's headquarters was significant. IAEA
staff were not allowed to bring in anything electronic or any
digital storage media.
Criticism of Al-Baradei
6. (S) Al-Khatibeh said that the IAEA was too late in dealing
with Iran. He singled out Mohammed al-Baradei as not being
tough enough at an early stage. Now, Gulf states are dealing
with Iran as a potential and future nuclear weapons state. He
explained Qatar's strategy as "cooperating for the long term"
because Iran will gain strength. Al-Khatibeh believes that
Persians (his term) by nature want to dominate the region and
even rebuild their empire.
Criticism of Bushehr Safety Official
7. (S) Al-Khatibeh said that the Iranian safety expert in
charge of the Bushehr nuclear facility was not adequately
qualified, though he did not say that the Bushehr facility
8. (C) Ahmed Jamil Khatibeh is Jordanian and has PhD in
nuclear physics. He has not studied in the U.S. He is
dedicated to his field of work rather than politics. He has
strong ties with Lawrenc Livermore and Sandia National
Laboratories throgh bilateral and regional activities. He
has not commented favorably or unfavorably regarding U.S.
policies in the region.