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Cablegate: U/S Levey Engages Gob Officials On Terrorism, Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Finance

VZCZCXRO1009
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMK #0127/01 0631250
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 031250Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7634
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAMA 000127

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/RA, EEB
NSC FOR EABRAMS
TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/03/2018
TAGS: PREL PTER EFIN ECON IR BA
SUBJECT: U/S LEVEY ENGAGES GOB OFFICIALS ON TERRORISM, IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION FINANCE REF: 07 MANAMA 1089 MANAMA 00000127 001.6 OF 002 Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli, reasons 1.4(b) and (d). ------- SUMMARY -------

1.(S) Central Bank governor Al-Maraj told U/S Levey he was unable to take further action against Future Bank, but understood the U.S. was likely to proceed. The Foreign Minister, however, wished to push one more time for Bahraini action against Future Bank, believing that UNSC action would give the Bahraini leadership cover to act; he urged the U.S. to wait two more weeks before designating the bank while he made the case again to his colleagues in the government. End Summary. ------------------------------------ FOREIGN MINISTER PLEDGES COOPERATION ------------------------------------

2.(S) In a meeting joined by the Ambassador with Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa February 26, Treasury U/S for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey commended Bahrain on the terrorism trial of al-Qaida supporters that resulted in guilty verdicts for four Bahrainis and one Qatari.

3.(S) U/S Levey said the USG would move to designate two of these al-Qaida facilitators -- Abdulrahman Jaffar Ali and Khalifa Muhammad Turki Al-Subayi -- as terrorists domestically under Executive Order 13224, and before the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee as al-Qaida associates. U/S Levey said the USG would like the GOB's support and co-sponsorship for this UN designation.

4.(S) Sheikh Khalid said he would be pleased to offer Bahraini cooperation with the USG on the UN designation. He also responded positively to U/S Levey's proposal that Bahrain host a regional workshop on the regulation and oversight of charity fundraising. The workshop would be organized with USG and Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA-FATF) participation. (Note. Bahrain hosts the MENA-FATF Executive Secretariat. End Note.) ----------------- FM ON FUTURE BANK -----------------

5.(S) U/S Levey told Shaikh Khalid that the USG would likely designate Future Bank under Executive Order 13382 as a supporter of a weapons of mass production proliferator in coming days. (Note: Future Bank, a Bahraini entity, is jointly owned by the Bahraini Ahli United Bank, and the Iranian banks Melli and Saderat. Melli and Saderat have each already been designated under E.O. 13882. End Note.)

6.(C) U/S Levey noted that the USG had thus far designated subsidiaries of Bank Melli everywhere else in the world, but had deferred designation of Future Bank in hopes that the GOB would take satisfactory steps against the bank on its own. However, Levey said, measures taken to date by Ahli United and the Central Bank of Bahrain had not been enough to ensure that Future Bank could not be corrupted by its Iranian partners.

7.(C) Shaikh Khalid told U/S Levey that the GOB would consider taking more vigorous action in a bid to forestall a USG designation of Future Bank. (Note: Options open to the GOB include taking Future Bank into receivership, or even revoking its license to operate. End note.) "Give us two weeks and we will see what can be done." The FM said that a new UNSC resolution would be an opportunity for him to convince Al-Maraj and others in the Bahraini leadership to take further action against Future Bank. U/S Levey said it was likely that announcement of a U.S. designation of Future Bank would be timed to complement an imminent third United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) on Iran. In the meantime, any decisive GOB action against Future Bank would be welcomed. --------------------------- FURTHER CBB VIGILANCE URGED MANAMA 00000127 002.2 OF 002 ERELI

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