WikiLeaks: Arabs Admit Iranian Threat not Linked to PA Demands
The Arab world contradicted its public stand in private cables and ignored any connection between solving the Iranian threat and meeting PA demands for a state, WikiLeaks revealed.
Most of the diplomatic cables that were revealed are full of gossip and previously known but unconfirmed observations, as well as incorrect predictions. However, one of the most astounding leaks was the Arab world’s overriding concern over the Iranian nuclear threat and not over the establishment of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel has always rejected linking the two issues, but many America officials, especially senior army brass, have maintained that the unsolved issue of the PA is the kingpin of all other Middle East problems.
The WikiLeaks disclosures totally debunked this notion.
“Note that Arab leaders did not condition their opposition to Iran or call for a U.S. attack on settling the Arab-Israeli or Israel-Palestinian conflicts,” said Barry Rubin, the Director of the Gloria Research in International Affairs.
"This is contrary to what Administration officials, academia, and parts of the mass media who argue these issues are basically linked have been claiming, and that is that the conflict must be ‘solved’ before doing much else,” he added. “As I've told you, the Arab regimes worry first and foremost about Iran and have greatly downgraded their interest in the conflict or antagonism toward Israel."
The near obsession with Iran among Arab leaders was documented in leaked cables that point to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as urging the United States to attack Tehran. Saudi Arabia has denied the documents’ accuracy.
Bahrain, an oil-rich Gulf state, told American officials they could use their country as a base for an attack on Iran if there were guarantees that its security would be protected in the event of a counterattack or sanctions by Iran.
A year ago this month, Bahrain's King Hamad told U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, "That [nuclear] program must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it." As previously reported, Saudi King Abdullah advised the United States to attack Iran. The Saudi ambassador commented to the United States, "He told you to cut off the head of the snake.”
The major exception to fears of Iran is Syria, where Syrian President Bashar Assad has allied himself with the Islamic Republic as part of a northern axis that includes Lebanon and Turkey. He not only doubted that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, but he also said it would not attack Israel in order not to harm Arabs in the country.
Although mainstream media have reported Assad’s statements without comment, his remarks cannot be taken at face value. Like the Palestinian Authority’s single minded- goal to become a state based on its demands incorporated in the Saudi Initiative of 2002, Syria has one principal objective – taking the strategic Golan Heights and its valuable water resources away from Israel.
According to the leaked documents, Assad also said that the “Annapolis meeting” on the Middle East two years ago, “I know it [Annapolis] is just a photo op. But I am sending someone anyway. We do what we think is good for our interests.”
In another cable, Assad admitted that Hamas is an “uninvited guest” in Damascus, where the terrorist organization’s Khaled Mashaal has made his headquarters. He also verified what Israel has warned for more than a year – that Hizbullah is the most powerful political faction in Lebanon.
One surprising statement in a leaked cable came from Qatar’s Amir Hamad bin Khalifa, who told U.S. Senator John Kerry last February, "When you consider that many in the region perceive that Hizbullah drove Israel out of Lebanon and Hamas kicked them…out ‘of the small piece of land called Gaza,’ it is actually surprising that the Israelis still want peace.”