Archive | Gulf Leaks

Visa Revocation Kuwait

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T KUWAIT 000166

NOFORN
SIPDIS

FOR CA/VO/L/C

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2020
TAG KU, CVIS, CMGT
SUBJECT: VISA REVOCATION KUWAIT

REF: A. STATE 10533
¶B. STATE 11763

Classified By: Classified by: Consul Pat Walsh for reasons 1.4 b and d
.

¶1. (U) Action request for Department para 7.

¶2. (SBU) Ref A was a list of prudential revocations of visas
issued in Kuwait. Ref B invited posts to notify VO/L/C of
any sensitive cases and to delay notifying the applicant
pending a response from Washington. Post appreciates the
opportunity to reclama and wishes to bring one such case to
the attention of the Department.

¶3. (C) The applicant in question is Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabae,
DPOB: April 3, 1964, Kuwait. The applicant possesses the
following non-immigrant visa: B1/B2 issued August 27, 2001,
expires August 26, 2011. The following CLASS hits are
entered in his name: One 00 hit entered September 24, 2004,
referencing TSC record 1382195, one P3B hit and one VRVK hit,
both entered December 30, 2009.

¶4. (C) Al-Tabtabae is a six-time Member of Kuwait’s National
Assembly, in which he serves as Chairman of the Human Rights
Committee and is a member (Rapporteur) of the Legislative and
Legal Affairs Committee as well as the Negative Phenomena
Committee.

¶5. (C) Al-Tabtabae is an outspoken critic of U.S. policies on
Israel-Palestine and opposes the normalization of relations
with Israel. In October 2009, he was barred entry into Egypt
for having illegally entering the Gaza Strip via tunnels
under the Rafah border. Al-Tabtabae is is a leading
Salafist-leaning member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, is a
frequent and vocal critic of U.S. policies, and has a very
high media profile. Kuwaiti Salafists, with whom Al-Tabtabae
is usually associated, are ultra-conservative and oppose many
aspects of U.S. foreign policy, but like most Kuwaitis for
the most part favor a continued U.S. military presence in
Kuwait as a bulwark against the ambitions of covetous larger
neighbors.

¶6. (S/NF) Though Al-Tabtabae is often at odds politically
with the United States, and has met with senior members of
Hamas, Post is not aware of credible evidence indicating his
participation in or facilitation of terrorism, and notes that
the single intel piece available through TIDE indicates only
an indirect linkage, and source is of low quality.

¶7. (C) In revoking Al-Tabtabae,s visa, we risk creating a
public cause clbre in Kuwait that would enable critics of
U.S. policy like Al-Tabtabae and his fellow-travelers in the
ultra-conservative/Salafist movement in Kuwait to portray the
revocation as punishment of those who disagree with U.S.
policy by labeling them &terrorists.8

¶8. (C) Action Request: Post requests Department reconsider
this revocation.
WILLIAMS

********************************************* *********
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
visit Kuwait’s Classified Website at:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Kuwa it
********************************************* *********
WILLIAMS

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SCENE SETTER FOR ADMIRAL FALLON’S SEPTEMBER VISIT

Posted on 24 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ABU DHABI 001479

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

CENTCOM FOR ADMIRAL FALLON
STATE FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ARP, PM/FO
DOD/OSD FOR A/S LONG, DAS KIMMITT, KELSO, QUINN, ANDERSON
CENTCOM ALSO FOR MAJ GEN FINDLEY, REYES, RODRIGUEZ
NSC FOR NRAMCHAND, EABRAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/2017
TAGS: PREL PTER PARM MOPS MARR IR IZ AF LE SY AE
SUBJECT: SCENE SETTER FOR ADMIRAL FALLON’S SEPTEMBER VISIT
TO UAE

REF: A. ABU DHABI 1214, B) ABU DHABI 702, C) SECDEF 31828

Classified by Charge d’Affaires Martin Quinn, reasons 1.4 (b)
and (d).

آ¶1. (S) Admiral Fallon, Embassy Abu Dhabi welcomes you for
your second visit to the UAE as CENTCOM commander. As you
are aware, deepening ties with the UAE is all about
relationships, and the relationship that most matters on the
military front is that with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Zayed (MbZ), who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the
UAE Armed Forces, has a personal background in the UAE Air
Force, visited Washington (White House and Pentagon) in
mid-May, and has engaged senior U.S. military officials for
some years on key defense issues. Since your visit falls
during the fasting month of Ramadan, a late evening meeting
with MbZ will likely be the substantive highlight of your
stop in Abu Dhabi. MbZ will be interested in current U.S.
operations in Iraq and forward thinking on how to deal with
Iran, topics that he also discussed with you at length during
your April visit. Additionally, MbZ will want your views on
potential weapons sales to the UAE, designed to deter and
counter the Iranian threat, and how those proposed transfers
will fare when they undergo U.S. congressional scrutiny.
(Note: In spite of Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid (MbR)
holding the nominal title of Minister of Defense — in
addition to his positions as UAE Vice President and Prime
Minister — he is not involved in the practical management of
UAE defense issues. We have requested a meeting with him, at
which you could thank Dubai for its hosting of U.S. ship
visits in particular. End note.)

UAE Cooperation
—————

آ¶2. (S) The U.S. enjoys strong defense cooperation with the
UAE, working together in key aspects of the war on terror;
the UAE has special operations troops on the ground in
Afghanistan and has been a source of security assistance for
Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, in addition to
assisting virtually every trouble spot in the region in need
of reconstruction support. The nation provides critical
basing and over-flight for U.S. reconnaissance and refueling
assets, extensive naval logistics support, and the Navy’s
liberty port of choice in the region (425 ships annually).
We suggest you thank MbZ for his strong support for the U.S.
Air Force and Navy in the UAE and encourage continued
partnership in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. A
few quantitative measures of bilateral cooperation include:

— 1,300 USAF personnel at Al Dhafra Air Base;
— a vigorous training schedule at the Air Warfare Center
at Al Dhafra;
— the F-16 Block 60 program;
— approximately 425 port visits last year;
— over 24,000 US military overflights/landings in
2006;
— more than 150,000 U.S. servicemen and women
enjoying liberty annually in the UAE; and
— 250 UAE Special Operations forces serving with the
Coalition in Afghanistan (possibly increasing to
300) to include BMPs and LeClerc tanks;
— 150 conventional ground forces with South African built
armored
personnel carriers are planned to deploy in support of
OEF, to
work directly with Canadian forces.

آ¶3. (S) These contributions are significant in scope but also
enduring in their continuity over a number of years. The
ports of Jebel Ali and Fujairah are vital to U.S. Navy
interdiction operations, re-supply and sustainment, and
combat support efforts across the region. Jebel Ali in Dubai
has hosted more port visits for each of the past three years
than any other port outside the United States. In expressing
appreciation for this outstanding partnership, you might also
remind MbZ that the evolving nature of military requirements
mandates an ongoing focus on joint planning, coordination,
and strategic interoperability.

Iraq
—-

ABU DHABI 00001479 002 OF 004

آ¶4. (S) While the UAE has offered some political and economic
support for Iraq and identifies Iraqi stability as a regional
priority, the UAE’s (all-Sunni) leadership has over the past
several months exhibited a hardened attitude toward Prime
Minister al-Maliki, perceiving him as beholden to Iran and
incapable of moving beyond sectarian bias to lead a unified
Iraq. The UAE has in the past favored former Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi and has stalled on its commitment to relieve
Iraqi debt (of $3.5 billion) in order to avoid al-Maliki
claiming credit. The UAE has expressed concern over the
continued violence and chaos in and around Baghdad as well as
the failure of the al-Maliki government to improve overall
security in the country. While clearly skeptical of
al-Maliki’s leadership, MbZ also told SecDef on August 2 that
Iraq had not followed up on signals that the UAE would
welcome an al-Maliki visit — albeit with a rather cautious
welcome mat (ref C).

آ¶5. (S) Meanwhile, the UAE has been engaged in regional
efforts to facilitate reconciliation between Sunni and Shi’a
forces. The UAEG has frequently expressed alarm regarding
Iranian influence in Iraq, and has made attempts to reach out
to moderate Shi’a to encourage their engagement in the Iraqi
political process independently of Iran. The UAE values and
seeks reassurance of continued close consultation on U.S.
plans and strategy involving Iraq (and Iran). As for its
direct consultations with Baghdad, Iraqi National Security
Adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie was in Abu Dhabi in late June, a
visit during which the UAE leadership apparently sensed that
al-Rubaie took the attitude that current UAE outreach actions
in Iraq were hostile and indirectly justified Iranian
counter-influence. Al-Rubaie reportedly focused his efforts
on urging the Emiratis not to support the Iraqi Sunnis. MbZ
will certainly be interested in your thoughts on General
Petraeus’ report to Congress on Iraq.

آ¶6. (S) The UAE sent a team to Baghdad in August to explore
options for re-opening its Embassy. You may wish to inquire
with MbZ about any reports back from the delegation. (Note:
Concern has been expressed by the Coalition about the use by
terrorists of the UAE’s abandoned Embassy compound; coalition
forces captured the security chief of the compound, Abu
Shinan, and continue to hold him due to his connections with
Sunni insurgent groups. The UAE has expressed concern over
his potential release to Iraqi forces, fearing his execution.
The UAE has not maintained diplomatic staff in Baghdad since
the May 2006 kidnapping of one of its diplomats. End note.)

Iran
—-

آ¶7. (S) MbZ reiterated to SecDef that Iran is the UAE’s most
serious and long-term threat, a theme we hear repeated often
in UAE defense circles (but not a theme we hear from the more
business-oriented leadership of Dubai). MbZ may opine that
any attempt at dialogue by Iran should be regarded as a pure
faade and he is urgent about setting up a defense
architecture against Iranian missiles. Nonetheless, the
leadership has also told us they are not in a position to
sacrifice $16 billion in annual trade with Iran, while
realizing that this same neighbor and major trading partner
is also a potential threat to the UAE. It is worth recalling
that the May 10-12 visit of Vice President Cheney to the UAE
was immediately followed by a one-night stopover by Iranian
President Ahmadinejad, who was given a red carpet welcome and
gave a defiant anti-U.S. speech at a Dubai sports arena
during his stay.

آ¶8. (S) Iran is the large neighbor that will not go away, so
the UAE feels a need to engage (particularly on the economic
side and especially in Dubai) with a potential foe in this
rough and unforgiving neighborhood. While assisting our
mission in the region, the UAE leadership has consistently
pursued a cautious, non-confrontational public posture
towards Iran. In the past the UAE has been hesitant to
participate in certain military exercises designed to show a
strong defensive front against Iran. The UAE did, however,
send observers to Leading Edge 07 in October 2006 in the
Gulf, which had a Proliferation Security Initiative theme.
The decision to host Eagle Resolve 2008, with a Theater Air
and Missile Defense theme, should be seen as a praiseworthy

ABU DHABI 00001479 003 OF 004

step. Iran is an adversary to prepare defenses against,
which the UAE is doing, yet it considers economic engagement
one of those defenses.

Afghanistan
———–

آ¶9. (S) While the UAE contributes 250 Special Operations
troops to the Coalition effort in Afghanistan (with a
potential increase of 50), it has not yet publicly
acknowledged this participation. The UAE pursues Afghanistan
reconstruction aid with an emphasis on road networks,
mosques, medical facilities and schools and has made efforts
at political mediation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In
January 2007 LTG Eikenberry escorted Afghan Armed Forces
Chief of Staff General Bismillah Mohammadi Khan to Abu Dhabi
in a bid to deepen direct engagement between the UAE and
Afghanistan. The UAE Armed Forces Chief of Staff declared
himself willing to help in any way possible, including
training Afghan troops. UAE subsequently disbursed another
$30 million in general assistance and is renovating two
runways in Afghanistan for military use. During the June
visit of Afghan Defense Minister Wardak to Abu Dhabi, MbZ
agreed to donate ten Mi-17 helicopters to Kabul. One of
MbZ’s oft-stated interests in sending Emirati Special Ops
troops to Afghanistan is to get his military forces
battle-hardened so they may effectively confront imported or
domestic extremism when called upon to do so back home. The
UAE contribution in Afghanistan warrants our frequent
expressions of appreciation.

Elsewhere in the region
———————–

آ¶10. (S) The UAE provides significant humanitarian and
security assistance to Lebanon; MbZ spoke with SecDef at some
length about the need to bolster Lebanon’s ability to stand
against Syrian influence. The UAE has been at the forefront
of reconstruction efforts, continuing a longstanding
de-mining operation, and contributing resources for school
construction and hospitals. UAE Air Force C-130s and
helicopters have been used in relief efforts. The UAE has
also provided UAE-manufactured pistols (Caracal) and
ammunition to the LAF. Earlier in the summer the UAE Foreign
Minister had a conversation with Lebanese PM Siniora on a
proposal for a Muslim force for Lebanon (under UN mandate).
The UAE seeks to strengthen the Siniora government, having
delivered $300 million in assistance to Lebanon this year,
while also seeking limited engagement with Syria (to include
a mid-July visit by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al
Nahyan and a donation of $10 million towards the support of
Iraqi refugees and $100 million to build a hospital in Syria).

آ¶11. (S) The UAE would like to see tangible progress on the
Middle East Roadmap, rejects the Hamas agenda, and continues
to support the Palestinian people through more than $400
million in housing and humanitarian assistance since 2000.
MbZ and his brothers, Foreign Minister Abdullah and National
Security Advisor/State Security Director Hazza, are in close
contact with President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad. As the result of the May 2007 visit of USSC General
Dayton, the UAE transferred $80 million to the Palestinian
president.

Weapons packages — high UAE expectations
—————————————–

آ¶12. (S) The UAE has committed billions to current and
anticipated Foreign Military Sales cases, in addition to over
$8.5 billion in direct commercial sales in the Block 60 F-16
program, one of the premier security assistance portfolios in
the region. At the invitation of the Pentagon and State
Department to deepen the security relationship by cooperating
on an integrated missile defense shield, the UAE has recently
submitted Letters of Request on the Patriot (nine PAC-3/GEM-T
batteries), Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air
Missile (SL-AMRAAM), and Theater High Altitude Air Defense
(THAAD) system (3 fire units), for an estimated total value
of $8 to 12 billion. It is now incumbent upon the USG to
make good on our offer of enhanced engagement by pressing for
expeditious Congressional notification this fall (pressing at
every opportunity for favorable results in any congressional

ABU DHABI 00001479 004 OF 004

review of the weapons package). The UAE will see our posture
as a critical measure of USG willingness to truly stand by
the UAE in a contingency involving Iran.

آ¶13. (S) The UAE recently signed the High Mobility Artillery
Rocket System (HIMARS) Letter of Offer and Acceptance for
counter battery, a case valued at $597M. Both Boeing and
Northrop-Grumman have provided Requests for Information on an
Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft later this year.
The UAE has also expressed a short-term interest in
purchasing three E2-C Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft as an interim
solution until delivery of a more permanent AEW&C platform.
(Note: That decision is expected in mid-2008. End note.)
The UAE has also made a request to buy 40 UH-60 Blackhawk
helicopters for its Special Operations Command. They have
already signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance for 26
Blackhawks, plus a training package, a case valued at $807M.
They have also purchased 10 Blackhawks via Direct Commercial
Sales from Sikorsky. The UAE is upgrading its AH-64 Apache
helicopters to the D (LONGBOW) model and has requested 1300
Hellfire missiles with the expectation of a request for an
additional 1200 missiles. Three separate Letters of Request
for additional weapons for their F-16s have been received,
valued at over $800M. (The current UAE portfolio of active
cases handled by USLO stands at 44 cases, valued at just over
$4 billion with another $1.56 billion in cases under
development, most of which are expected to be signed by the
end of the calendar year. These figures do not include the
$8-12 billion for the missile defense requests or $1-3
billion estimated for the AEW&C platform.)

Defense Cooperation Agreement
—————————–

آ¶14. (S) In spite of differences on status of forces issues
and the use of passports/visas versus military IDs/orders for
UAE entry and exit, overall mil-to-mil cooperation with the
UAE has been excellent, with consistently reliable support at
Jebel Ali and Fujairah ports and at Al Dhafra Air Base. We
recently moved routine military cargo flight operations from
UAE civil airports in the northern Emirates to the Minhad air
station, in accordance with a UAE request. The request
enhances force protection considerations but comes with a
one-time cost of approximately $4.5 million. Minhad is
generally better positioned geographically to support CENTCOM
needs. In very limited circumstances when a C-5 is required
to land at Fujairah, the UAE has granted all requested
clearances.

آ¶15. (S) The Embassy believes the timing may be right to make
progress on negotiating a new Defense Cooperation Agreement
(DCA) with the UAE and has suggested submission of a USG
counter-draft in answer to the UAE draft DCA presented for
possible discussion at October 2-3 Joint Military Committee
(JMC) working group meetings in Tampa and a full JMC meeting
tentatively set for January 2008 in Abu Dhabi. We
recommended urging the UAE to sign a new DCA superseding the
un-ratified 1994 version as the official basis for existing
and expanding military-to-military cooperation (taking care
NOT to link the DCA issue with pending sales or other routine
cooperation, which would be seen as unhelpful pressure.)

Getting the relationship right
——————————

آ¶16. (S) The UAE’s reliable and enduring support for mutual
military interests in the region creates both a sense of
momentum in the relationship and high expectations on the
part of our hosts. They will be looking for your endorsement
of our partnership in the form of ongoing consultations on
U.S. intentions in the region (particularly Iraq and Iran,
but also Afghanistan and Lebanon), an honest sense of the
congressional mood in terms of weapons sales in the region
(keeping in mind that the UAE seeks congressional
notification of its systems this fall and notification to be
handled separately from any other nation, GCC or otherwise),
and genuine appreciation for the UAE role in the region.
QUINN

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SCENE SETTER – SECDEF GATES VISIT TO UAE

Posted on 24 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ABU DHABI 001214

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ARP, PM/FO, S/P
DOD/OSD FOR A/S LONG, DAS KIMMITT, KELSO, QUINN, ANDERSON
CENTCOM FOR CCJ5 – RODRIGUEZ
NSC FOR NRAMCHAND, EABRAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2017
TAGS: PREL PTER PARM MOPS MARR IR IZ AF LE AE
SUBJECT: SCENE SETTER – SECDEF GATES VISIT TO UAE

REF: A. ABU DHABI 1180 (MBR)
آ¶B. ABU DHABI 1161 (GSD/JMC)
آ¶C. ABU DHABI 1143 (DCA)
آ¶D. ABU DHABI 1119 (ABZ)
آ¶E. ABU DHABI 0956 (AFGHAN DEFMIN)
آ¶F. ABU DHABI 0765 (GEN DAYTON)
آ¶G. ABU DHABI 0705 (NEW WAY FORWARD)
آ¶H. ABU DHABI 0702 (ADM FALLON-MBZ)

Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison,
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

SUMMARY
——-

آ¶1. (S) Secretary Gates: Embassy Abu Dhabi looks forward to
your upcoming visit to Abu Dhabi. Your principal
interlocutor will be Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy
Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin
Zayed Al-Nahyan (MbZ), whom you met at the Pentagon on May
آ¶16. The U.S. enjoys a strong defense cooperation
relationship with the UAE and the State-DOD-NSC-led Gulf
Security Dialogue (GSD) has provided an opportunity to deepen
that relationship. The UAE delivers strong support in the
war on terror; has cooperated with us in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Lebanon, and with security assistance to the Palestinians;
and — very importantly — provides critical basing and
over-flight for U.S. reconnaissance and refueling assets as
well as naval logistics support.

آ¶2. (S) While the UAE has offered political support for Iraq
and identifies the first priority for the region as Iraqi
stability, the UAE’s (all-Sunni) leadership has lately
exhibited a hardened attitude toward Prime Minister al
Maliki, perceiving him as beholden to Iran and incapable of
moving beyond sectarian bias to lead a unified Iraq. The UAE
has in the past favored former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and
has stalled on its commitment to Iraqi debt relief in order
to avoid
al Maliki claiming any credit. The UAE has expressed concern
over the continued violence and chaos in and around Baghdad
as well as the failure of the al Maliki government to improve
overall security in the country. End Summary.

آ¶3. (S) We suggest you thank MbZ for his strong support for
the U.S. Air Force and Navy in the UAE and encourage
continued partnership in Afghanistan. We offer the following
background on issues facing the UAE and our bilateral
relationship:

آ¶I. U.S. Defense Interests (para 4)
II. Iraq (para 5)
III. Other Regional Issues: Afghanistan, Iran,
Lebanon, the Palestinians (paras 8-13)
IV. Gulf Security Dialogue (para 14-15)
آ¶V. Defense Cooperation and the DCA (paras 16-17)

————————–
آ¶I. U.S. DEFENSE INTERESTS
————————–

آ¶4. (S) The UAE’s contribution to U.S. defense interests in
the region has been extensive and enduring. The ports of
Jebel Ali and Fujairah are vital to U.S. Navy interdiction
operations, re-supply and sustainment, and combat support
efforts across the region. Jebel Ali has hosted more port
visits for each of the past three years than any other port
outside the United States. Quantitative measures of UAE
support include:

— 1,300 USAF personnel at Al Dhafra Air Base;
— a vigorous training schedule at the Gulf Air
Warfare Center at Al Dhafra;
— the F-16 Block 60 program;
— approximately 500 port visits last year;
— over 24,000 US military overflights/landings in
2006;
— more than 150,000 U.S. servicemen and women
enjoying liberty annually in the UAE; and
— 250 UAE Special Operations forces serving with the
Coalition in Afghanistan (possibly increasing to
300) to include BMPs and LeClerc tanks.

ABU DHABI 00001214 002 OF 004

You should express appreciation for this outstanding
partnership. You might also remind MbZ that the evolving
nature of military requirements mandates a bilateral
relationship focused on joint planning, coordination, and
strategic interoperability.

——————————————— —-
II. IRAQ – UAE LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN PM AL MALIKI
——————————————— —-

آ¶5. (S) In recent months there has been a definite hardening
of the UAE leadership’s attitudes toward al Maliki, who is
viewed by the Emiratis as little more than an Iranian
puppet. The UAE leadership has told us they do not see
much hope in investing in Iraq or much light on the horizon
with al Maliki and his government. UAE leaders perceive him
as biased and incapable of leading a non-sectarian, unified
Iraq. Earlier UAE commitments to forgive most of the $3.5
billion in Iraqi debt the UAE holds remain unfulfilled, with
the UAE leadership asking why it should give al Maliki a
chance to claim credit for debt relief. (Note: Although the
UAE has not forgiven the debt, it is not collecting payments
on it. End Note.)

آ¶6. (S) Meanwhile, the UAE has been engaged in regional
efforts to facilitate reconciliation between Sunni and Shi’a
forces. The UAEG has frequently expressed alarm regarding
Iranian influence in Iraq, and has made attempts to reach out
to moderate Shi’a to encourage their engagement in the Iraqi
political process independently of Iran. The UAE values and
seeks reassurance of continued close consultation on U.S.
plans and strategy involving Iraq.

آ¶7. (S) While al Maliki has not visited the UAE in a year,
Iraqi National Security Adviser Muwaffaq Al Rubaie was in Abu
Dhabi on June 28, briefing the UAE National Security Advisor
and Foreign Minister (both are MbZ’s brothers) on security
developments in Iraq. Reportedly, Al Rubaie was told that
the Group of Six nations (UAE, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait) would invite Iraq’s security chief to its
next meeting. According to the UAE leadership, during this
visit Al Rubaie took the attitude that UAE outreach actions
in Iraq were hostile and also indirectly justified the
Iranian influence. Al Rubaie reportedly focused his efforts
on urging the Emiratis not to support the Iraqi Sunnis. At
the same time, Al Rubaie promised to work with the UAEG to
identify a location for a new UAE embassy in Baghdad.
(Concern has been expressed by the Coalition about the use by
terrorists of the UAE’s abandoned Embassy compound — the UAE
has not maintained diplomatic staff in Baghdad since the 2006
kidnapping of one of its diplomats.)

————————–
III. OTHER REGIONAL ISSUES
————————–

IRAN – UAE BALANCING ITS PRIVATE
RHETORIC WITH PUBLIC CAUTION
——————————–

آ¶8. (S) MbZ has called privately for action sooner rather
than later against Iran and speaks caustically about
Ahmadinejad. MbZ may opine that any attempt at dialogue by
Iran should be regarded as a pure facade. He has also
remarked that the UAE thinks carefully about risks in the
region and about its own future. The leadership has told us
they are not in a position to sacrifice $16 billion in annual
trade with Iran, while realizing that this same neighbor and
major trading partner is also a threat to the UAE. It is
also worth recalling that the May 10-12 visit of Vice
President Cheney to the UAE was immediately followed by a
one-night stopover by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who gave
a defiant anti-U.S. speech at a Dubai sports arena. (The
following day, MbZ left on his official visit to Washington,
where he met you.)

آ¶9. (S) However, much as they may assist our mission in the
region, the Emiratis are conscious of being vulnerable
players in a rough and unforgiving neighborhood. The UAE
leadership has consistently pursued a cautious,
non-confrontational public posture towards Iran. In the past
the UAE has been hesitant to participate in certain military
exercises. The UAE did, however, send observers to Leading
Edge 07 in October 2006 in the Gulf, which had a

ABU DHABI 00001214 003 OF 004

Proliferation Security Initiative theme. The decision to
host Eagle Resolve 2008, with a Theater Air and Missile
Defense theme, should be seen as a praiseworthy step.

AFGHANISTAN – UAE SPECIAL OPERATIONS TROOPS
——————————————-

آ¶10. (S) While the UAE contributes 250 Special Operations
troops to the Coalition effort in Afghanistan (with a
potential increase of 50), it has not yet publicly
acknowledged this participation in Operation Enduring
Freedom. The UAE pursues Afghanistan reconstruction aid with
an emphasis on road networks, mosques, medical facilities and
schools and has made efforts at political mediation between
Pakistan and Afghanistan. In January 2007 LTG Eikenberry
escorted Afghan Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Bismillah
Mohammadi Khan to Abu Dhabi in a bid to deepen direct
engagement between the UAE and Afghanistan. The UAE Armed
Forces Chief of Staff declared himself willing to help in any
way possible, including training Afghan troops. UAE
subsequently disbursed another $30 million in general
assistance and is renovating two runways in Afghanistan for
military use. During the June visit of Afghan Defense
Minister Wardak to Abu Dhabi, MbZ agreed to donate nine Mi-19
helicopters to Afghanistan. One of MbZ’s oft-stated
interests in sending Emirati Special Ops troops to
Afghanistan is to get his military forces battle-hardened so
they may effectively confront imported or domestic extremism.

LEBANON (AND SYRIA)
——————-

آ¶11. (S) The UAE provides significant humanitarian and
security assistance to Lebanon. The UAE has been at the
forefront of reconstruction efforts, continuing a
longstanding de-mining operation, and contributing resources
for school construction and hospitals. UAE Air Force C-130s
and helicopters have been used in relief efforts. The UAE
has also provided UAE-manufactured pistols (Caracal) and
ammunition to the LAF. The UAE Foreign Minister recently had
a conversation with Lebanese PM Siniora on a proposal for a
Muslim force for Lebanon (under UN mandate).

آ¶12. (S) The UAE seeks to strengthen the Siniora government,
having delivered $300 million in assistance to Lebanon this
year, while also seeking engagement with other parties. UAE
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other senior
UAE officials paid a July 15-16 visit to Damascus, announcing
the donation of $10 million towards the support of Iraqi
refugees. The UAE has conveyed private frustration and
displeasure with Syrian meddling in Lebanon and has said it
would express its (and our) concern about foreign fighters
entering Iraq through Syria to the Syrian leadership. UAE’s
goal, according to the UAE Foreign Minister, is to try to
persuade Syrian President Bashar Al Asad to loosen his close
ties to Iran.

Palestinian Issue
—————–

آ¶13. (S) The UAE would like to see tangible progress on the
Middle East Roadmap, rejects the Hamas agenda, and continues
to support the Palestinian people through more than $400
million in housing and humanitarian assistance since 2000.
MbZ and his brothers, Foreign Minister Abdullah and National
Security Advisor/State Security Director Hazza, are in close
contact with President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad. As the result of the May 2007 visit of USSC General
Dayton, the UAE transferred $80 million to the Palestinian
president. The UAE has issued a public statement supporting
the choice of Tony Blair as the Quartet envoy (Blair is
scheduled to meet MbZ on July 24).

—————————
IV. GULF SECURITY DIALOGUE
—————————

آ¶14. (S) The UAE currently has over $2.6 billion in Foreign
Military Sales cases and another $8.5 billion plus in direct
commercial sales in the Block 60 F-16 program, one of the
premier portfolios in the USCENTCOM Area of Operations.
Since the May 2007 Gulf Security Dialogue and earlier
meetings of the Joint Military Committee working groups and
Air and Missile Defense working group, we have seen progress

ABU DHABI 00001214 004 OF 004

in our bilateral relationship in the areas of defense
cooperation and regional security. The UAEG has indicated
strong interest in purchasing 12 Patriot PAC-3/GEM-T
anti-ballistic missile batteries and other lower and
upper-tier missile defense systems in order to create an
overarching Air and Missile Defense architecture and Concept
of Operations. The UAE has also requested Stinger/Avenger
missiles for short range air defense and has expressed
interest in Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air
Missile and Theater High Altitude Air Defense missile system.
The UAE is on the verge of purchasing the High Mobility
Artillery Rocket System for counter battery, a case valued at
approximately $650M. Both Boeing and Northrop-Grumman are
providing Requests for Information on an Airborne Early
Warning and Control aircraft later this year. The UAE has
also expressed interest in leasing three E2-C Hawkeye AEW&C
aircraft as a stop-gap measure until a permanent AEW&C
aircraft is procured.

آ¶15. (S) The UAE has also made a request to buy 40 UH-60
Blackhawk helicopters for their Special Operations Command.
They should be offered a contract for 26 of those, plus a
training package, in the next several weeks, a case valued at
$750M. The UAE is upgrading their AH-64 Apache helicopters
to the D (LONGBOW) model and has requested 1300 Hellfire
missiles with the expectation of a request for an additional
1200 missiles. Three separate requests for additional
weapons for their F-16s have been received, valued at over
$200M. Additionally, the UAE is coordinating to include
Proliferation Security Initiative themes in Iron Falcon at
the UAE Air Warfare Center and Iron Siren, a Naval Surface
Warfare exercise in the upcoming year.

———————————–
آ¶V. DEFENSE COOPERATION AND THE DCA
———————————–

آ¶16. (S) Although differences exist on status of forces issues
and the use of passports/visas versus military IDs/orders for
UAE entry and exit, overall mil-to-mil cooperation with the
UAE has been excellent, with consistently reliable support at
Jebel Ali and Fujairah ports and at Al Dhafra Air Base. We
are currently moving routine military cargo flight operations
from UAE civil airports in the northern Emirates to the
Minhad air station, in accordance with the UAE’s request.

آ¶17. (S) The Embassy believes the timing may be right to make
progress on negotiating a new Defense Cooperation Agreement
(DCA) with the UAE and has suggested submission of a USG
counter-draft in answer to the UAE draft DCA presented for
possible discussion at October 17-19 Joint Military Committee
(JMC) working group meetings and a full JMC meeting
tentatively set for January 15-17, 2008 in Abu Dhabi. We
recommended that we urge the UAE to sign a new DCA
superseding the unratified 1994 version as the official basis
for existing and expanding military-to-military cooperation.
(It is, however, important that no linkage be made between
the DCA and pending sales or other routine cooperation.)

SISON

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CODEL LOWEY WITH UAE FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAN

Posted on 29 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000097

NOFORN
SIPDIS
FOR NEA/ARP AND NEA/IR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/22
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETTC UNSC IR AE
SUBJECT: CODEL LOWEY WITH UAE FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAN

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

¶1. (S/NF) Summary. In a February 17 meeting, UAE Foreign Minister
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (AbZ) discussed Iran with a
four-member Congressional delegation led by Chairwoman Nita Lowey
of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations.
AbZ told the Codel the nuclear issue is only one aspect of the Iran
problem, and that Iran’s regional meddling was a serious concern.
He pledged the UAE’s backing as the US rallies support for new
sanctions but questioned whether they would achieve the desired
effect. AbZ noted the UAE’s growing concern that Gulf allies were
being shut out of Iran sanctions planning. End Summary.

IRAN’S REACTORS AND REACH

————————-

¶2. (S/NF) AbZ began by expressing pride in the US-UAE 123 agreement
and the bilateral relationship generally. According to AbZ, the
123 is a powerful example for the region and provides a transparent
alternative to Iran’s nuclear model. The UAE views Iran as a huge
problem that goes far beyond nuclear capabilities. Iranian support
for terrorism is broader than just Hamas and Hizballah. Iran has
influence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern
Province of KSA, and Africa (AbZ mentioned Nigeria specifically).
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez have close, cooperative ties. If Iran acquires nuclear
weapons, the expeditionary aspect of its foreign policy will become
ever more challenging for neighboring states.

POSSIBILITY AND FUTILITY OF SANCTIONS

————————————-

¶3. (S/NF) Lowey asked what AbZ thought about tougher sanctions
against Iran and how the UAE can help with China. AbZ said the US
and its allies “have to decide how to stop Iran” and that the UAE
was surprised at the Chinese attitude. AbZ noted the Emiratis and
the Saudis have spoken to the Chinese, and the UAE expressed a
willingness to expand its energy ties (Note: AbZ seemed to be
indicating that this was intended as a carrot, but he acknowledged
the difficulty of supplanting an Iran-China trade relationship that
reached $50 billion last year. End Note.)

¶4. (S/NF) AbZ urged quick action on tough new sanctions. The UAE
is conscientious in its efforts to enforce existing UNSC sanctions
but the Iranians have been able to find other routes, bypassing UAE
ports, to import what they need. AbZ predicted that smart and
swift implementation of new sanctions could still be ineffective
but said that we must try.

GULF NEIGHBORS FEELING LEFT OUT

——————————-

¶5. (S/NF) AbZ highlighted a growing belief the UAE and the GCC are
being left out of our Iran sanctions consultations. AbZ told
Chairwoman Lowey that the P5+1 negotiations with Iran should be
expanded to included the GCC. AbZ said there is a “trust barrier”
to full GCC support for US policy, as there is a deep suspicion
that the US is proceeding without consulting Gulf allies.

¶6. (S/NF) AbZ raised (as he likes to do regularly) the 2005 EU
package offer to Iran that was briefed to the UAE by the Iranians,
not the US or another ally. Things have improved since then, but
“we still need some serious trust building between the US, the EU,
and the GCC” on this issue. The DCM reminded AbZ (and the Codel)
that there are extensive and privileged communications between the
UAE and the USG on policy towards Iran and on sanctions planning.
AbZ acknowledged there was trust from the UAE, but the rest of the
GCC had continuing concerns. “Your problem today is to fix your
relations with the GCC, quickly. A few countries in the region are
already dealing with Iran as if they had the bomb.”

¶7. (S/NF) AbZ said GCC states are left wondering what will happen
to them in any deal the US and Iran reach through back channel
conversations. He compared the current multilateral conversations
over Iran’s nuclear program with negotiations over North Korea’s
nuclear program, asking why North Korea’s neighbors are part of the
Six Party negotiations, but the GCC is not equally involved in
similar conversations about and with Iran.

“WHAT IF?” SCENARIOS

——————–

¶8. (S/NF) In response to questions from members of Congress, AbZ
said that if Iran goes nuclear others in the region will move
forward on the same track and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty
will completely break down. He said a crisis or confrontation in
the region would create oil supply problems worldwide. 14 million
barrels a day pass through the Strait of Hormuz. That said, he
noted that the US and UAE militaries have plans to keep Hormuz
clear.

¶9. (S) AbZ concluded the meeting with a soliloquy on the importance
of a successful peace process between Israel and its neighbors as
perhaps the most effective way of reducing Iran’s regional
influence.

¶10. (SBU) Members of Congress in attendance: Congresswoman Nita
Lowey, Congressman Tom Cole, Congresswoman Barbara Lee,
Congresswoman Donna Edwards.
OLSON

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UAE – SCENESETTER FOR VISIT OF CJCS

Posted on 29 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000069

NOFORN
SIPDIS
FROM AMBASSADOR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/09
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS AE
SUBJECT: UAE – SCENESETTER FOR VISIT OF CJCS

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambasador; REASON: 1.4(A), (B), (C),
(D)

¶1. (SBU) Admiral Mullen: we warmly welcome your visit to Abu
Dhabi, and have requested an appointment with Abu Dhabi Crown
Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Shaykh
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ), whom you last met on 9
September 2009 in Washington. We have also requested a meeting
with your counterpart, Lieutenant General Hamad al-Thani
al-Romaithi, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, whom you last
met on 8 October 2009 in Washington.

——————————————— —–

The Relationship

——————————————— —–

¶2. (S/NF) The UAE is one of our closest partners in the Middle
East and one of our most useful friends worldwide.

— Al-Dhafra Air Force Base is the high altitude ISR hub for the
AOR, and supports 50 percent of aerial refueling in the AOR.

— Ports in Dubai and Fujairah are the logistics backbone for the
U.S. Fifth. Jebel Ali (Dubai) is the most frequented USN liberty
port after Norfolk.

— Minhad Air Base is a critical hub for Coalition/ISAF partners in
Afghanistan, including the Australians, Dutch, Canadians, Brits and
Kiwis.

— The UAE is a cash customer with FMS sales in excess of $11
billion. Commercial sales have an equivalent value. An additional
$12 billion of FMS cases are in development with approximately the
same volume of commercial sales in the works.

— The UAE recently purchased nine Patriot batteries, and expects
to move forward on the purchase of THAAD as the first non US
customer.

— The UAE currently commands CJTF-152 (Arabian Gulf) and maintains
an active exercise schedule with U.S. (Red Flag) and other
multi-lateral partners.

— The UAE recently hosted an AFCENT survey team to consider U.S.
access to Liwa (Safran) Air Base in support of contingency
operations.

— Additionally, the UAE is considering hosting the Regional
Integrated Air and Missile Defense Center of Excellence.

——————————————— —–

Iran – the Primordial Concern

——————————————— —–

¶3. (S) The UAE leadership sees Iran as its primary external
threat, and one that is existential in nature. Like much of the
international community, the UAE finds the idea of an Iran with
nuclear weapons unacceptable and thinks this eventuality would lead
to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. At least as worrying to
MbZ are Iran’s aspirations for regional hegemony by support for
terrorist proxies (Hizballah, HAMAS, possibly underground
organizations in the Arab Gulf countries). MbZ is skeptical that
Iran can be convinced to end its nuclear weapons program, and is
not convinced that the international community will adopt tough
sanctions. In other words, he sees the logic of war dominating the
region, and this thinking explains his near obsessive efforts to
build up the UAE’s armed forces.

¶4. (S/NF) MbZ’s main message to us during his September visit was
that we needed to be better coordinated for Iran contingencies.
High level engagement by CENTCOM planners have helped to address
this concern, but he believes we have made less progress in
addressing what he sees as the slow pace of deliveries of US

security assistance and he is still worried that he does not have
enough equipment in place to defend his people when war with Iran
breaks out. (And for MbZ it is a matter of when, not if.) We have
repeatedly presented to his staff the various explanations for what
he perceives as delays, but he remains unconvinced that we are
addressing his concerns as a matter of priority.

——————————————— —–

Afghanistan – Pakistan: A Solid Partner

——————————————— —–

¶5. (S) Afghanistan: UAE SOF has been quietly deployed as part of
OEF since 2003, and the UAE surged its contribution in 2009 adding
a combined arms task force. The UAE’s UAV capability has been a
much appreciated force multiplier. On the economic development
side, the UAE has pledged about $300 M in assistance, and quietly
supported the Afghan Reintegration Fund at the recent London
Conference. You should thank MbZ for his leadership in being the
first Arab country to send troops to Afghanistan.

¶6. (C) Pakistan: the UAE has taken a leading role in the Friends
of Pakistan initiative and has provided about $800 M in assistance
in recent years. The Al Nahyan family had a long-standing
relationship with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and this
has transitioned to support for her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, but
the UAE stays in touch with all elements on the Pakistani scene,
including Musharraf. MbZ will be very interested in your dialogue
with General Kayani.

¶7. (S/NF) Threat finance: we have a cooperative relationship with
the UAE at the Federal level on addressing Taliban financing. As
our information has begun to flow, we have seen increasing activity
and interest on the part of UAE authorities. That said, the
subject is delicate and operational aspects are best handled
through our well established Treasury/Intelligence channel.

——————————————— —–

Yemen: Increasing Concern

——————————————— —–

¶8. (S/NF) MbZ shares our concern about Yemen, and if anything, is
more alarmed about the possibility for destabilization of Saudi
Arabia. He is convinced that the Iranians are involved in Yemen,
and supporting the Houthi rebels. When we tell him that we have no
evidence of Iranian support, he is somewhat incredulous, suggesting
that our focus on Al Qaeda has caused us to lose sight of the
bigger picture of Iranian adventurism. You should encourage him to
provide any specific information on Iranian activities to us
through intelligence channels.

——————————————— —–

Iraq: the Bellwether for Iran

——————————————— —–

¶9. (S) Iraq: the UAE was the first GCC Country to cancel Saddam
era debt and re-establish an embassy, and has generally followed a
policy of constructive engagement with the Maliki Government. But
MbZ runs hot and cold on Iraq. Sometimes he chooses to emphasize
his supportive position; at other times he suggests that Iran has
been the big winner in Iraq, and that Southern Iraq will be one of
the major flashpoints in the upcoming confrontation with Iran.
Anything you can say to reassure him about the US commitment to

Iraqi stability will be helpful.
OLSON

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ABU DHABI CROWN PRINCE WARNS DOE DEPSEC PONEMAN ABOUT IRAN

Posted on 29 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 001151

NOFORN
SIPDIS
STATE FOR NEA/FO AND NEA/ARP
ENERGY FOR S1, S2, O???CONNOR AND SANDOLOW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/17
TAGS: PGOV PREL PARM ENRG IR YM AE
SUBJECT: ABU DHABI CROWN PRINCE WARNS DOE DEPSEC PONEMAN ABOUT IRAN

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard G. Olson, Ambassador, State, US Embassy Abu
Dhabi, UAE; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

¶1. (S/NF) Summary: During a December 9 meeting in Abu Dhabi (other
meetings reported septel), Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel
Poneman told Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) that
the USG shared many energy policy priorities with the UAE,
including renewable energy development and the importance of
critical energy infrastructure protection. Poneman briefed MbZ on
the Teheran Research Reactor (TRR) proposal and Vienna talks. MbZ
said he would be surprised if Iran accepted the P5+1/IAEA proposal
and warned that Iran was already acting like a nuclear power.
Further, and more dangerously, Iran is establishing “emirates”
across the Muslim world, including South Lebanon and Gaza, sleeper
“emirates” in Kuwait, Bahrain, and the Eastern Province of Saudi
Arabia, the mother of all “emirates” in Southern Iraq, and now
Saada in Yemen. MbZ suggested that the U.S. is misreading the
situation in Yemen and failing to recognize strong evidence of
Iranian support. End Summary.

POTENTIAL COOPERATION:

RENEWABLES, INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION

————————————-

¶2. (SBU) The Crown Prince asked DepSec Poneman several questions
about U.S. energy development plans, including the outlook for the
next 25 years. Poneman explained President Obama and Secretary Chu
have a strategic vision of a new energy economy with a low carbon
profile. In the short term, Poneman said DOE is investing Recovery
Act funds to improve efficiency and support new technologies, but
that the USG seeks to facilitate energy development through a
portfolio approach, not dictate what the market should pursue. On
nuclear, MbZ specifically asked what progress could be expected
within the next three years. Poneman said there are a number of
active deals under development, and strong public support for
nuclear power, but that capital costs continue to be a challenge.
(Comment: MbZ pressed hard on US plans for a nuclear renaissance,
suggesting to us that he is worried we may compete with his program
in the hunt for nuclear engineering and technical talent. End
Comment.) Turning to renewable energy and efficiency, the DepSec
noted that USG goals are very much in line with Abu Dhabi’s own
Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) and that he looked forward
to greater DOE-Masdar cooperation (septel).

¶3. (SBU) Poneman also told MbZ that the USG is interested in
supporting Abu Dhabi’s critical energy infrastructure protection
(CEIP) plans and said a DOE team was discussing cooperation
potential with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority
(CNIA, reported septel). Learning from Hurricane Katrina, DOE was
focused on survivability of assets, resiliency and recovery. MbZ
said he was personally very interested in greater cooperation with
the U.S. on CEIP, through DOE, other USG entities and/or the
private sector. He stressed that citizens’ confidence in their
government was very important, noting “We’re doing our best to make
them feel secure.” MbZ added that while UAE is a small country, it
has the resources to protect itself, and is willing to invest in
top-quality infrastructure protection.

IRAN

—-

¶4. (S/NF) DepSec Poneman briefed MbZ on the international proposal
for Iran to ship 1,200 kg of Low Enriched Uranium produced at
Natanz to a location outside Iran and where it would be enriched to
20 percent for use to produce medical radioisotopes at the Tehran
Research Reactor. Poneman stressed that the IAEA, the Russians,
and the U.S. had all taken every possible step to address stated
Iranian concerns, including a first-ever official USG statement of
support for the proposal. He stressed that the offer would not
remain open indefinitely; as DG El Baradei had said, this is a
“fleeting” opportunity. He also explained that the extra effort
had strengthened international cooperation, with Russia and China
supportive of the recent IAEA Board of Governors resolution.

Poneman stressed that the deal was not offered out of naivete, but
rather out of the view that if Iran agreed it would remove a
significant amount of LEU from Natanz and if Iran refused it would
help build international support – beginning with Russia and China
– for tougher sanctions.

¶5. (S/NF) The Crown Prince said he would be “very surprised” if a
deal was possible, as Iran’s nuclear program is not an issue of
internal conflict but rather one of national pride for the vast
majority of Iranians. He stressed that Iran is not North Korea,
because 1) it is looking to reestablish a Persian empire in the
21st century, 2) Iran has resources and lacks neighbors, including
the UAE, who can pressure it, 3) the leadership has not changed (it
is the same people who seized Embassy Tehran in 1979) , and 4) Iran
believes itself to be a superpower. Poneman said the USG does not
disagree with MbZ’s analysis, but believes pride makes the Iranian
leadership more susceptible to the pressure of the world community
uniting against them, whereas North Korea revels in its own
isolation. MbZ agreed, and emphasized the strategic importance of
creating a Palestinian State (i.e., resolving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict) as the way to create genuine Middle
Eastern unity on the question of Iran’s nuclear program and
regional ambitions.

YEMEN

—–

¶6. (S/NF) MbZ said Iran already acts like a superpower and
explained that, while the UAE is a federation of emirates, Iran’s
“emirates” have a larger army and budget that the UAE. In addition
to Iran’s established emirates in South Lebanon and Gaza, sleeper
emirates in Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,
and the mother of all emirates in Southern Iraq. Now Iran has an
emirate in Saada. MbZ told Poneman, “We believe you don’t want us
to believe” the mounting evidence of Iranian involvement in Yemen.
He stressed that he doesn’t believe Ali Abdullah Saleh either, but
this is “not like cracking the enigma code” (in World War II),
there are Iranian ships unloading weapons for the Houthis, and “you
have the capability to track this.” He warned, “We know your
priority is Al-Qaeda, but don’t forget Iran. Al-Qaeda is not going
to get a nuclear bomb; Iran is a matter of time.”

¶7. (SBU) DepSec Poneman has cleared this cable.
OLSON

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SCENESETTER FOR THE PRESIDENT’S MEETING WITH SHAYKH MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED

Posted on 29 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000862

NOFORN

DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR SRAP, S/SEMEP AND NEA.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2018
TAGS: PREL AE
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR THE PRESIDENT’S MEETING WITH SHAYKH
MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED

Classified by Ambassador Richard Olson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Mr President: Shaykh Mohammed bin Zayed is looking forward
to renewing your acquaintanceship, established during his 2006 call
on you.

——————————————— —-
MbZ – The Man
——————————————— —-

¶2. (C) Shaykh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, or MbZ in USG speak, is
the man who runs the United Arab Emirates. Officially he is the
Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (the most important
principality of the seven emirate confederation) and his only federal
title is Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; in fact he is
the key decision maker on national security issues. He will make
deferential noises about his “boss” (elder half-brother President
Khalifa, a distant and uncharismatic personage), but we assess that
he has authority in all matters except for final decisions on oil
policy and major state expenditures.

¶3. (C) Aged 47, MbZ is a leader not just in the UAE, but more
broadly in the Middle East, where he is seen as a particularly
dynamic member of the generation succeeding the geriatric cases who
have dominated the region for decades. He is a reformer, actively
seeking to improve the life of his citizens and the UAE’s future
through better education and health care, and through economic
diversification, including investments in clean energy to prepare his
citizenry for a post-hydrocarbon future. He is proud of the fact
that despite having had the option of life of privilege, he rose
through the ranks of the UAE Armed Forces, earning his wings as a
helicopter pilot and retains a common touch that appeals to Emiratis.

——————————————— —-
MbZ and the Bilateral Relationship
——————————————— —-

¶4. (C) MbZ has staked his reputation, and his country’s future, on
its relationship with the United States, especially since 1990, when
the UAE leadership saw that the United States was prepared to shed
blood in the interests of preserving international order and
stability in the Gulf. Since that formative experience, MbZ has
built armed forces (especially his Air Force) that are closely
aligned with the US. He is also a proponent of close economic,
commercial, and where possible political ties with the US. He has
generally tried to support us where he thinks we have been right
(Afghanistan), but also where he thinks we have pursued misguided
policies (Iraq). MbZ recognizes that partnership with the US is
fundamental to the UAE’s continued success, but he also knows that
the relationship is controversial among his people, and that if the
US is perceived as an unreliable protector, his own power base will
erode.

——————————————— —-
Iran
——————————————— —-

¶5. (C) MbZ sees Iran as the primary external threat to the UAE and
his regime. To his eyes, Tehran’s threatening rhetoric, dominance by
proxy, and pursuit of nuclear weapons is reminiscent of Saddam in
¶1990. Moreover, the confrontations with Iran during the late 1980s
tanker wars, long forgotten in the West, are vividly remembered here.
MbZ is probably the most passionately anti-Iran of the Arab leaders,
and the UAE’s position is solidly with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan
in seeing the principal threat to the region as coming from Iran.
MbZ is particularly concerned at the divisions among the Gulf Arabs,
and sees Qatar’s and Oman’s decision to accommodate, rather than
challenge, Iranian power as troubling.

¶6. (S/NF) While MbZ is a hard liner on Iran, there are
accommodationists within his own system, especially in Dubai, where
the Ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (Prime Minister of the UAE)
takes a position that is much closer to Qatar’s. For this reason,
and because of the basic disparity in size and power between the UAE
and Iran, the Emiratis prefer to be seen as quietly supporting a
hard-line US position, rather than staking out their own views. MbZ
is skeptical that US engagement with Iran will be successful in
reversing Iranian positions on nuclear program, and believes that a
policy of engagement puts him in an awkward position, both
domestically and internationally. He will welcome thinking on next
steps on sanctions.

¶7. (S/NF) Regarding the nuclear issue, MbZ believes that the logic
of war now dominates the region. He regularly expresses his belief
that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear
facilities, most likely within next six months. This reflects his
own assessment of the Netanyahu Government, but also, probably, what
Israelis are telling UAE in their private exchanges. For this
reason, one of MbZ’s highest priorities is to finalize his integrated
air defense system (including THAAD and Patriots) and advance
bilateral contingency planning with the US. Because of Qatari and
Omani wobbliness, he is uncomfortable with multilateral (GCC)
military solutions. MbZ may float the idea of extending the US
nuclear umbrella to the Gulf as a way of shoring up an anti-Iran
coalition, and preventing a regional arms race.

——————————————— —-
Israel and the Arabs
——————————————— —-

¶8. (S/NF) MbZ’s pre-occupation with Iran (and his secondary concern
about Islamic fundamentalism) lead him to have a strategic view of
the region that is curiously close to the Israeli one. But domestic
politics flow the other way, and he feels constrained in what he can
say publicly. Also, for reasons that are not entirely clear, the UAE
still feels a need to hide behind Arab League and GCC consensus, and
in particular behind Saudi Arabia (even when, as is now the case,
bilateral relations with the Kingdom are rocky).

¶9. (S/NF) We should press MbZ to expend political capital in
resolving the century old Arab-Israeli conflict. The issue cries out
for leadership in the Arab world, not least so that the common
interests of moderate Arabs and Israelis in containing Iran can find
a political expression. So far, MbZ has not been prepared to run
real risks in this area, but we should press him to. He appreciates
the bold steps you have taken, and expects to be asked for help in
this area.

——————————————— —-
Afghanistan-Pakistan
——————————————— —-

¶10. (C) The discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan should be an easy
one. The UAE has played a useful role since 2001, having deployed
Special Forces there since 2003, and recently sending a Battalion
sized task force during the elections. MbZ tried to organize a
pan-Arab force, but could not overcome the resistance of Moroccans
and Tunisians to send troops. In Pakistan, the UAE has been
supportive of Zardari and played a very useful role both as donor and
politically as one of the key members of the friends of Pakistan
grouping. MbZ agrees on the need to curtail Taliban financing, but
is frustrated by our seeming inability to generate actionable
intelligence.

——————————————— —-
CT/CP Cooperation
——————————————— —-

¶11. (C) The UAE has emerged as one of our principal partners in CT
Cooperation through intelligence channels, having rounded up a number
of cells over the past few years, and is moving toward cooperation
externally as well. In the counterproliferation area, the UAE has
interdicted 20 shipments over the past two years, including within
the past few days, seizing North Korean systems bound for Iran.
Domestic Export Controls have lagged somewhat, but the UAEG’s
bureaucratic structure for implementing its export control laws is
finally emerging.

——————————————— —-
Conclusion
——————————————— —-

¶12. (C) MbZ views himself as one our closest partners in the Middle
East, and is keen to build on what has been an important aspect of
his life’s work, a good relationship with the US. From my
perspective, our relationship with the UAE is one the most promising
and productive in the region.

OLSON

Comments Off on SCENESETTER FOR THE PRESIDENT’S MEETING WITH SHAYKH MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED

MbZ HOSTS GULF SECURITY DINNER WITH ISA ASD VERSHBOW AND PM A/S SHAPIRO

Posted on 29 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 ABU DHABI 000754

NOFORN
SIPDIS

FOR S AND S/SRAP HOLBROOKE
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ARP AND SCA

E.O. 12958: 07/22/2019
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL PARM EAID MOPS IR IS AF PK SY LE SA
QA, AE

SUBJECT: (S) MbZ HOSTS GULF SECURITY DINNER WITH ISA ASD VERSHBOW AND
PM A/S SHAPIRO

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES DOUGLAS C.GREENE FOR REASONS 1.4 B
AND D.

REF A SECRETARY’S LETTER TO MBZ ON PUMA HELICOPTERS
REF B SECSTATE 76108

¶1. (S) Summary: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ, also
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and de facto defense
chief) hosted a July 19 executive session of the Gulf Security
Dialogue in Abu Dhabi (July 20 plenary with UAE uniformed officers
reported septel). The U.S. delegation was led by Assistant Secretary
of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow and
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew
Shapiro. MbZ called for advanced U.S.-UAE joint military
coordination and faster delivery of FMS items to respond to a
worst-case scenario in Iran. As with other senior U.S. officials
(but with increasing alarm and a shortening time frame), MbZ focused
on the Iranian threat and his belief that an Israeli pre-emptive
strike on Iran is likely in a matter of months. ASD Vershbow assured
MbZ of the U.S. commitment to UAE security; A/S Shapiro relayed that
this visit was his first since taking his new position – reflecting
the importance we place on the relationship. Discussions also
centered on UAE military and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan
and Pakistan and the peace process. End summary.

¶2. (SBU) Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) hosted a
working dinner with U.S. Gulf Security Dialogue delegation the
evening of July 19. The U.S. Delegation was led by Assistant
Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro and
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Alexander Vershbow and included RADM William Payne, Ambassador, and
DCM. The UAE was represented by Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
Hamad Thani al-Rumaithi, Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba,
Under Secretary of the Crown Prince’s Court Mohamed al-Mazrouei,
Deputy Chief of Staff Ali Hamad al-Kaabi and Air Force Chief Mohammed
Swaidan al-Qamzi.

Joint Planning for Worst-Case Scenario in Iran
——————————————— –

¶3. (S) In a three-hour working dinner, MbZ focused primarily on his
overarching concern — the threat from Iran, stressing as he has with
other senior U.S. officials that U.S. engagement with Iran will
ultimately fail and that he fears a surprise (Israeli pre-emptive
strike on Iran) in a shorter timeframe than USG estimates (he fears
it could happen this year). ASD Vershbow assured MbZ of the U.S.
commitment to UAE security; A/S Shapiro relayed that his trip to the
UAE was his first since taking on his new position, reflecting the
importance we place on the relationship.

¶4. (S/NF) MbZ reiterated his belief that an Israeli pre-emptive
strike against Iran was increasingly likely, saying he was convinced
the Netanyahu government was prepared to act against Iran, and that
he agreed with Israeli intelligence assessments regarding how close
Tehran is to achieving its nuclear ambitions. The Iranian response
to a pre-emptive strike, predicted MbZ, would be attacks on U.S.
allies in the region, foremost among them the UAE; Iran may also
unleash terrorist cells against western interests around the world.
ASD Vershbow explained that the USG assessment differed in timeframe
— we do not anticipate military confrontation with Iran before the
end of 2009 — stressing, however, that denying Iran’s nuclear
ambitions and stemming its efforts to achieve regional hegemony were
foremost among U.S. international security concerns.

¶5. (S) In response to MbZ’s position that ultimately engagement
efforts with Iran would fail, both ASD and A/S made clear than while
the USG continues to press for a diplomatic solution, the offer of
engagement is not opened-ended and will not come at the expense of
Gulf security.

ABU DHABI 00000754 002 OF 004

¶6. (S) Referring to the Iran Region Presence Office (IRPO) in Dubai,
MbZ asked “how’s that office doing?” He did not demonstrate any
particular concern or sensitivity regarding IRPO activities in UAE.
MbZ said that the Iranian regime was in trouble internally and would
move swiftly to oppress post-election opposition. As for Rafsanjani,
MbZ said he was a “survivor” who would not succeed in a leadership
bid because he will not act unless he is one-hundred percent sure he
will win. Again turning to his primary security concern, MbZ
suggested that Tehran would likely accelerate its nuclear program to
draw attention away from its internal weakness and to foment
nationalism among its citizenry. “Time is not on our side”, he said,
hinting that a move should be made against Iran and “the sooner the
better.”

Russia
——

¶7. (C)ASD Vershbow briefed MbZ on the positive outcome of POTUS’s
recent talks in Moscow. MbZ said that he had met with Putin in June
and he did not believe Russia saw a nuclearized Iran as a challenge
to its interests, nor did Putin appreciate the threat of regional
proliferation in response to an Iranian bomb. He encouraged the U.S.
to continue to press the Russians saying he believed if the Russians
came over to our side, (with regard to tougher sanctions), the
Chinese would follow. MbZ said his he would travel in late July to
Beijing, where he will surely press the Chinese on Iran. ASD
Vershbow suggested he urge the Chinese to send Iran a message by
diversifying its oil imports away from Iran.

Afghanistan – Neighbors Not Doing Enough
—————————————-

¶8. (S/NF) MbZ complained that Arab regimes are not doing enough to
help in Afghanistan. He said that as of one month ago, he surveyed
the region and found that only Oman had funded its Tokyo conference
pledge of $2 million. He singled out Saudi Arabia and Qatar in
particular for not doing their part, saying that the Saudis clearly
did not see how important it was to their own interests.

¶9. (S/NF) MbZ criticized other regional leaders for playing both
sides and for “dating” Iran. MbZ compared the current situation to
pre-WWII Europe saying, “Ahmedinejad is Hitler,” and neighboring
capitals believe erroneously that they can prevent Iranian
retaliation by playing nice or signing agreements with Tehran. “They
think the are backing the winning horse,” MbZ explained, emphasizing
that if they think that by appeasing Iran they will avoid Iranian
retaliation “then they are seriously mistaken, Sir.”

National Defense Strategy
————————-

¶10. (S) Throughout the discussions, MbZ repeatedly called for
coordinated military planning for the worst-case scenario of an
unpredictable Iranian response to an Israeli strike, stressing that
U.S.-UAE preparations must begin now well before commencement of
hostilities. Both sides agreed that improved coordination was a good
idea, with ASD Vershbow utilizing the opportunity to push for a UAE
national defense strategy. (Note: GSD July 20 plenary meeting
reported septel. End Note.)

Pakistan – 14 Additional PUMAs
——————————

¶11. (C) Passing a letter from Secretary Clinton thanking the UAE for
its transfer of 14 U.S.-origin PUMA helicopters to Pakistan, A/S
Shapiro thanked MbZ for the UAEG’s partnership and regional
leadership in providing assistance to Pakistan as well as its
long-term participation in the coalition in Afghanistan. MbZ updated
the delegation on delivery status, saying that 10 of the promised 14

ABU DHABI 00000754 003 OF 004

had been delivered and the remaining 4 would shortly follow. He
added that efforts were underway to find and purchase additional
helicopters, announcing (for the first time that we have heard this)
the UAE’s intentions to provide Pakistan with an additional 14 PUMAs.

Humanitarian Aid for CT
———————–
¶12. (C) In the context of defeating AQ in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
MbZ called for Arab and Muslim regimes to do more to stem terrorist
financing, whether it means closing down charities, business
interests, “whatever is necessary.” He also pointed to the
zealousness of Arab fighters vice Afghani nationals. Nine-five
percent of Arab fighters go to Afghanistan knowing they are going to
die for ideological reasons. Afghan nationals, on the other hand,
are more practical. “This makes one of them [Arabs] more valuable to
AQ than ten or more Afghan fighters.” Afghanis, MbZ pointed out,
have tribes, families, homes — therefore the best way to counter
local extremism in Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Pakistan, is
to improve the quality of life.

¶13. (SBU) MbZ described UAE humanitarian commitments of $300 million
to build “model villages” in Afghanistan, complete with housing,
hospitals and schools. He invited the USG to join the UAE, Germany
and France in this effort. A/S Shapiro stressed the urgency of the
displaced persons crisis in the Swat region of Pakistan, suggesting
the UAE consider housing aid in this region. MbZ replied “Why not?
We will try to help wherever needed.”

MbZ on Pakistani Leadership
—————————

¶14. (S/NF) MbZ shared his assessment of the current Pakistani
leadership saying President “Zardarni is dirty but not dangerous,”
while Prime Minister Sharif is “dangerous but not dirty — this is
Pakistan. Sharif cannot be trusted to honor his promises. MbZ
continued that a new personality may emerge but for the time being
the UAE position was to play a helpful role by supporting the PM.

Lebanon – Support for LAF and PM Hariri
—————————————

¶15. (C) ASD Vershbow reiterated our request that the UAEG assist the
Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) by funding the purchase and transfer of
some of 56 U.S.-origin tanks from Jordan to Lebanon, noting our
appreciation of the UAE’s earlier funding of the first 10 tanks.
This would help capitalize on the positive outcome of the elections
and help reduce Hezbollah’s (and Iran’s) influence in Lebanon.
Promising to look into what the UAE could do to help with this
matter, MbZ asked if we had made the same request to Doha. ASD
replied that we had and that he would do so again when he arrived in
Qatar July 20.

¶16. (C) Reiterating his favored theme of the generation gap in
regional leadership (UAE having already passed the baton to the
younger generation), MbZ praised Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, saying he
was a good man. “He feels very threatened at the moment (presumably
by the Syrian regime), and it is important we do not lose him.” A/S
Shapiro agreed, pointing to U.S. security assistance as proof of our
concern and suggested that the UAE support U.S. efforts to strengthen
Lebanese government institutions as the best opportunity to build GOL
stability and security.

July 18 Nasrallah Speech
————————

¶17. (S) MbZ pointed to Hezbollah SYG Hassan Nasrallah’s July 18
speech, saying he believed it reflected a change in Hezbollah’s tone
due to calculations that its Iranian backers were currently in a
weakened state post-Presidential elections. MbZ said that Nasrallah
is likely suffering from decreased financial support, at least for

ABU DHABI 00000754 004 OF 004

the next six months.

Behavior Change in Syria – I Think Not
————————————–

¶18. (S/NF) Vershbow pointed to recent progress with Syria on border
control issues to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq as a
small step forward in effort at eliciting behavioral change from
Damascus. MbZ showed no confidence that Syria could be separated
from the Iranian camp. “If you want my opinion,” replied MbZ, “I
think not.” He advised that Syria had a lot of options and that,
judging from past behavior, the regime would continue hedging on key
regional issues (Iran, support for Hezbollah, peace process) for the
foreseeable future.

Praise for Bahraini Crown Prince
——————————–

¶19. (C) MbZ said that a two-state solution was the only option for
solving the Israeli-Palestinian issue. MbZ praised the Bahraini
Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa for his “courageous”
(July 17) editorial in the Washington Post (ref B), commenting that
not enough Arab countries we on the right side of this issue.

¶20. (U) ASD Vershbow and A/S Shapiro cleared this message.

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