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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07KUWAIT1541 2007-10-21 14:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MP SOUNDS ALARM BELL ON IRAN

Tags:   PGOV PREL IR KU KUWAIT IRAN RELATIONS 
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VZCZCXRO5235
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHKU #1541/01 2941446
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211446Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0161
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 1037
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1077
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA PRIORITY 2407
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 2454
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001541 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ARP AND NEA/IR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/04/2027
TAGS: PGOV PREL IR KU KUWAIT IRAN RELATIONS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN AFFAIRS MP SOUNDS ALARM BELL ON IRAN

REF: A. KUWAIT 781

B. KUWAIT 486

C. KUWAIT 50

Classified By: CDA Alan Misenheimer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
--------



1. (C) On October 3, in separate conversations with Post,
Kuwaiti MP Mohammad Jassem Al-Sager and MFA Director of Arab
World Department Ambassador Jassem Al Mubaraki relayed their
grave concerns that Iran is leading the region towards
conflict. Though they acknowledged that the removal of
Saddam Hussein was a positive step, both were critical of the
perceived USG lack of post-war planning in Iraq and said this
had unleashed Iran, "the monster in the cage." In order to
counter what he deems unsatisfactory progress on Iran,
Al-Sager will call on regional Arab leaders to unify and
collectively pressure the Iranians to engage in peaceful
multilateral talks. End summary.

Kuwaitis worried, very worried over Iran


--------------------------





2. (C) The Chairman of Kuwaiti Parliament's Foreign Affairs
Committee, liberal MP Mohammad Jassem Al-Sager, declared in
an October 2 news article entitled, "We are Worried, Very
Worried," that Kuwaitis are increasingly concerned about
Iran. He noted that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal
said after a UNGA meeting with Secretary Rice that a
confrontation is "definitely coming." Al-Sager's assessment
in the article was that this is especially troubling because
the Saudi FM is known for his calm demeanor and care in
choosing his words. He commmented that the FM is normally
reluctant to voice doubts publicly, and is usually optimistic
that ways out of crises can always be found. While Al-Sager
is solidly pro-American, in the article he expressed doubt in
the ability of the United States to handle the crisis.
Predictions of impending military clashes are not new to the
Kuwaiti newspapers (refs B and C), but Al-Sager's position as
head of the Foreign Affairs Committee makes his remarks
especially significant. Al-Sager urged Kuwaitis not to
continue to ignore the issue and called for greater unity
among the Arab states in standing up to Iran. He also warned
that suspension of Kuwait's constitution or institutions
would weaken its ability to face the challenge of Iran.

Monster in the cage unleashed


--------------------------





3. (C) In an October 3 meeting with Charge and visiting
NEA/ARP Deputy Director, Al Sager said that there is no
security in the region. He assessed that though the U.S.
removal of the Taleban and Saddam Hussein regimes were very
positive steps, lack of post-war planning has resulted in the
unleashing of Iran, the "monster in the cage." He added that
Kuwait is "scared to death" of Iran.

Arab-Iranian summit?


--------------------------





4. (C) While lamenting the lack of GCC and regional cohesion
in a policy against Iran, Al Sager told emboffs and NEA/ARP
Deputy that he is launching an initiative to move from
bilateral talks with Iran to a multilateral dialogue. He
aims to gather senior Arab and Iranian officials in Kuwait to
"pressure" the Iranians to concede to the wishes of the
international community. The dialogue will focus on two
issues: Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Iran's unique
involvement in the region, notably in Iraq, and with the
Palestinians and the Lebanese. According to Al Sager, the
Iranian response to this initiative is very warm, while the
Arab response is typically hesitant. He promised that most
of the sessions would be open to the public and would likely
take place in January 2008.

GOK view on Iran


--------------------------





5. (C) In a similar conversation with MFA Director of Arab
World Department Ambassador Jassem Al Mubaraki, also on
October 3, Al-Mubaraki provided the standard GOK policy
soundbyte regarding Iran: The GOK prefers the diplomatic
option in terms of dealing with Iran and is opposed to

KUWAIT 00001541 002 OF 002


military action. Echoing Al-Sager's remarks, he said that
Kuwait is afraid of Iran and possible pending military
confrontation. He added that Iran is engaged in unacceptable
behavior and the region needs a respite from the present
levels of tension. He added that the US/EU diplomatic
initiatives were not sufficient and that Iran was exploiting
the current state of international disunity.



6. (C) Al-Mubaraki added that GOK will support UN Security
Council resolutions against Iran. He called on the USG to
exert more pressure to bring around Russia and China, and
commended both the German and French approach. He cited the
lucrative trade between Iran and China as the major obstacle
in developing an international consensus on Iran.

Stable Iraq = stable region


--------------------------





7. (C) Al-Mubaraki stated that the best countermeasure to
Iran is a peaceful and stable Iraq. Meanwhile, he added,
Iran is now claiming Bahrain as part of Iran and is spending
great amounts of money to buy the loyalty of the Bahrainis.
He also said that his personal friend, King Hamad Bin Isa
Al-Khalifa of Bahrain (Note: Al-Mubaraki was recently
Kuwait's ambassador to Bahrain), told him that Iran is the
biggest challenge in the region.

Don't exclude Syria


--------------------------





8. (C) Al-Mubaraki said that Syria is playing into Iran's
hands now, but will side with its Arab neighbors if it can
see that this is in its interest. He added, without
elaboration, that the Syrian government needs assurances of
security. If provided, he suggested that Syria will play a
greater, more positive role. He exhorted the USG not to
"exclude Syria" from discussions and clarified that such
isolation of Syria results only in embarrassing the regional
moderate states. (Comment: The wistful desire to see
brother Arab state Syria wrested from Iran's orbit by
conciliatory American diplomacy, rather than by coordinated
Arab/international pressure, is widely shared among our GOK
interlocutors. End Comment.)




********************************************* *
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/?cable s

Visit Kuwait's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/
********************************************* *
MISENHEIMER