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Cablegate: Ministry of Interior Continues to Underscore

VZCZCXRO6738
OO RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHRH #0873/01 1151603
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 251603Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5170
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHHH/OPEC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH IMMEDIATE 8618
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHRMAKS/COMUSNAVCENT IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 000873

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DOE PASS TO ADEALVAREZ AND PWILLGING
CIA PASS TO TCOYNE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2017
TAGS: EPET PTER PGOV INR SA
SUBJECT: MINISTRY OF INTERIOR CONTINUES TO UNDERSCORE
IRANIAN THREAT TO PETROLEUM FACILITIES

REF: A. AL SEMARI-ROSS E-MAIL 23 APRIL 2007

B. RIYADH 00523

Classified By: ADCM DAVID RUNDELL FOR REASONS
12958 1.4 B, D, AND E

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph
five.

---------------------------------------------
Iranian Threat Weighs on MOI; MOI Requests
Threat Brief and Addition to Agenda for JWG
--------------------------------------------

2. (S) During an April 21 meeting, Ministry of Interior
Chief of Staff Major General Dr. Saad al Jabri continued to
communicate his deep concern with the threat posed by Iran to
Saudi Arabia's petroleum infrastructure. His concerns track
those expressed by Assistant Minister of Interior Mohammed
bin Nayif in ref B. Dr. al Jabri requested a briefing from
the CIA and other related intelligence or military agencies
on the threat Iran presents to petroleum facilities in Saudi
Arabia's Eastern Province, in an inter-agency meeting
attended by Energy Attache Ross, CIA energy Analysts XXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXX, and BPM Officers Seyer and Moraga. Dr. al Jabri requested the threat brief be included as part of the April 30 JWG, stating Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Al-Jubeir would attend, and would then be in a position to
brief King Abdullah. In ref A, Joint Working Group (JWG) on
critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Saudi Co-Chair Dr.
Saud Al-Semari also requested we add an additional component
to the JWG agenda, "Threat Assessment and Countermeasures."

-------------------------------------------
Iranian Threat Backdrop to Accelerated JWG
-------------------------------------------

3. (S) Dr. Jabri explained the MOI had moved the next
meeting of the JWG forward from June until April 30 because
of its concerns with the situation in the Gulf, specifically
increased hostilities with Iran. He also highlighted
increasing threats from Saudi Arabia's and neighboring Shi'a,
and the threat posed by the Saudi Hezbollah. Dr. al Jabri
noted neither the MOI nor the Ministry of Defense and
Aviation sufficiently understood Iranian capabilities to
allow for appropriate contingency planning for continued oil
operations or recovery from a significant attack. He stated
it would not have to be a highly accurate missile to cause
serious operational damage to Saudi oil operations, even a
"stupid" missile could do so. He expressed his worries with
a "layered" attack by both military forces and terrorists,
which could then be compounded by a Shi'a reaction in the
Eastern Province. He stated, "we would like to be prepared
for worst case scenarios, we do not want any surprises."

------------------------------------
Internal Aramco Threat Concerns MOI
------------------------------------

4. (S) Finally, Dr. al Jabri also highlighted the MOI's
concern with the threat posed by internal sabotage from Saudi
Aramco employees. He stated there were Saudi Aramco
employees known by MOI to be members of extremist groups.

---------------
Action Request
---------------

5. (S) S/CT please advise if an interagency threat brief
can be presented during the April 30 JWG meeting to address
Saudi concerns with the Iranian threat to petroleum
facilities, and possible follow-up contingency planning.
Please advise if "Threat Assessment and Countermeasures" item
can be added to the JWG agenda.

--------
Comment
--------

6. (S) Post believes these are serious and legitimate
requests which will make the JWG significantly more useful
for our Saudi counterparts. We hope these requests can be
granted.

GFOELLER

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