|06MUSCAT1310||2006-09-04 13:03:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Muscat|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 001310
1. On September 3, government-owned Arabic daily "Oman" (circulation
38,000) carried an editorial, "Control of Violence in Iraq, the
Responsibility of all Parties:"
"Despite all the loud cries that warned against the continuation of
the slaughter and assassinations in Iraq and the severe blood
shedding of the innocent Iraqi people, they continue to mount in a
manner that triggers concern about what is happening and its
Though the situation in Iraq has entered the fray of America's
upcoming elections, the most serious risk that Iraq faces these days
is certainly the transformation of the situation into a fierce civil
war. This would, no doubt, be accompanied by segregations,
evacuations, displacement, and a deepening of the differences
between the people of Iraq, one of the most ancient civilizations in
Stopping or limiting violence should have priority over any other
issues; it means the saving of innocent lives and the hindering of
any attempts that push toward the ignition of a fierce civil war."
UN RESOLUTION NO. 1706: "BEGINNING OF A DARK TUNNEL"
2. A September 2 editorial in "Al-Watan" (privately owned Arabic
daily, circulation 42,000) commented "UN Resolution No. 1706 - the
Beginning of a Dark Tunnel:"
"The issuance of UN Resolution 1706 has led the relationship between
the Sudanese Government and the Security Council into direct
confrontation, one that opens the door for different interpretations
and paves the way for the use of all possible instruments...
Despite the seriousness of the confrontation and the outcomes that
might emerge, the Sudanese government has not delayed the
declaration of its rejection of the Resolution. Its stance has
developed into a 'readiness' to face any 'foreign interference'
while the African Union's forces are replaced by international ones
Statements by some Sudanese officials seem dubious and dangerous. In
a speech before a national congress in Obeid, Capital of the Western
State of Kurdufan, Sudan, Ali Othman Mohammed Taha, Vice President
of Sudan said, 'we have national options and plans to face the
foreign interference, and the conflict with the international
community needs a long breath,' adding, 'The rejection of the
interference of the international forces in Dar Four should be
changed to an active and continuous movement. However, we are ready
for all possibilities.'"
KOFI ANNAN TOURS A REGION "AT A CROSSROADS"
3. Also on September 3, "Oman" opined on "Positive Signs in Annan's
Tour of the Middle East":
"Kofi Anna's current tour is the most extensive ever launched by a
UN Secretary General of this pivotal area of the world. This
indicates the seriousness and importance of the issues to be tackled
by the UN leader and what he is going to hear during this tour.
The Arab countries have decided to take their cause to the Security
Council, raising this issue again before it following the death of
the peace process... Naturally, the UN Secretary General, who has
made an extensive tour of this area, will submit a report and offer
his opinions and points of view about the situation...
It is not an exaggeration to say that the situation in the Middle
East is at a crossroads. In other words, it could be said that there
is a chance for the area to enter into a phase, which is very near
to a just and comprehensive peace, particularly in the shadow of the
recent losses suffered by Israel due to its oppressive war against
Lebanon. In fact, these losses are compound losses, not restricted
to the human and material losses, but including the psychological
shock and loss of confidence in concepts long established in Israeli
minds. Peace could be achieved if all concerned parties,
particularly Israel, listened to the voice of logic, benefited from
the recent lessons, showed the courage to enter into the path of an
equitable and comprehensive peace process."
MUSCAT 00001310 002 OF 002
U.S.-IRAN: "NEGOTIATIONS OR CONFRONTATIONS?"
4. "Al-Watan" wondered whether "Negotiations or Confrontations?"
will take the lead in U.S.-Iran relations in a September 1
"The U.S. President's administration is trying to change the ruling
regime in Iran, but does not say so plainly. It supports the Iranian
opposition with tens of millions of dollars and spends additional
millions in a campaign against the Iranian government. It now
endeavors to impose international economic sanctions on Tehran,
hoping that these would weaken the Iranian regime, leading to its
collapse. However, most of these actions have to date mainly
contributed to the strengthening of Tehran.
At the beginning, when America invaded Afghanistan and toppled the
Taliban Government, it helped the Iranian government; Iran also
considered that regime its enemy. Due to that, we saw broad
cooperation between Iran and America for the fulfillment of U.S.
goals in Afghanistan.
In Iraq, all of us remember that Saddam Hussein waged a long severe
war against Iran, even using chemical weapons against the Iranian
army. So, when America removed Saddam, it removed an enemy to Iran,
contributing to the strengthening of the Iranian government and
regime. Now, as a result of the U.S. policy in Iraq, that country is
ruled by a regime some of whose elements were once nurtured by the
Moreover, the economic sanctions that America hopes to impose on
Iran would have no tangible effect... Sanctions on Iran will start
and end by imposing an embargo on the travel of Iranian officials,
alongside some restrictions on the airlines, as was the case in
Iran would even be luckier today than Iraq and Libya due to the
increase in the oil prices and the world's pressing need for every
drop. Iran will find a buyer and a payer for its oil."