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Cablegate: Response to Saudi Request for Recommendations On

VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #8877 3431741
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 081733Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0000

S E C R E T STATE 128877

SIPDIS
SECRET//REL SAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2018
TAGS: EFIN IR KNNP PARM PINR PREL
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO SAUDI REQUEST FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ON
HOW TO INCREASE THE PRESSURE ON IRAN

REF: A. RIYADH 1667
B. STATE 115523

Classified By: ISN PATRICIA A. MCNERNEY, REASONS 1.4(b) AND (d)

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 4.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

2. (S//REL SAU) During the week of 13 October and in
response to ISN Acting Assistant Secretary Patricia
McNerney's encouragement to help increase pressure on Iran to
change course, Saudi MFA Undersecretary for Multilateral
Affairs, Prince Turki Bin Mohamed Bin Saud Al-Kabeer
requested U.S. recommendations on specific actions Saudi
Arabia could take (REF A). Washington would like to provide
the following non-paper to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),
which contains suggestions on how to further enhance Saudi
Arabia,s non-proliferation efforts with regard to Iran.

3. On October 16, 2008, the Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) issued its fourth warning of the serious threat posed
by Iran's lack of a sufficient anti-money laundering and
counterterrorist financing regime (REF B). During the same
plenary meeting, FATF also separately issued guidance on the
steps that countries should take to implement UNSCR 1803's
call for vigilance over the activities of financial
institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in
Iran, in order to avoid such activities contributing to
proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or to the
development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. These two
actions by the FATF, combined with the already widely held
view that Iranian financial institutions play a key role in
Iran's proliferation efforts, merit immediate action by
countries to mitigate these illicit finance risks.


----------
OBJECTIVES
----------

4. (S//REL SAU) Washington requests Embassy Riyadh approach
Prince Turki, or other appropriate senior KSA officials, to
discuss this issue and provide U.S. recommendations. Post
should pursue the following objectives:

-- Present the non-paper at paragraph 5 to KSA officials.

-- Urge host government to issue a public statement that
advances the October 2008 FATF statement on Iran, and
encourage all regional partners to do the same.

-- Encourage host government to carefully monitor any
financial and commercial activity with Iran within KSA to
ensure that Iran does not pursue illicit transactions via the
KSA.

-- Encourage host government to use its influence in the GCC
to invigorate further actions by regional partners to enhance
vigilance over financial and commercial activity with Iran,
as is called for by the Financial Action Task Force and
UNSCRs 1737, 1747, and 1803.


--------
NONPAPER
--------

5. (S//REL SAU) BEGIN NON-PAPER FOR SAUDI ARABIA

During Acting Assistant Secretary Patricia McNerney's visit
to Saudi Arabia on 15 October 2008, she raised the issue of
Iran's nuclear program and the need to increase pressure on
the Iranian regime to address international concerns
surrounding its nuclear activities. Undersecretary for
Multilateral Affairs Prince Turki Bin Mohamed Bin Saud
Al-Kabeer requested suggestions on steps the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia could take in this regard.

We believe your government should consider taking action on
the following key priorities:

-- National Financial Measures

-- Export Control Implementation

-- Express Resolve on the Iranian Threat, and

-- Full Implementation of UNSCRs, particularly 1803.

Your vigilance thus far demonstrates your government,s
recognition that real action must be taken to protect the
region,s security by preventing Iranian proliferation. We
believe that if your government implemented the actions
suggested in this paper, it would not only allow you to
exercise influential leadership with regional neighbors, it
would significantly increase the pressure on Iran to
cooperate with the international community and address its
concerns.

We would like to present to you the following recommendations
and the United States is prepared to work with the KSA to
assist with the incorporation of these measures into Saudi
Arabia's nonproliferation system.

National Financial Measures:

-- We urge the Saudi Government to issue a public statement
that advances the October 2008 Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) statement on Iran. The Saudi statement should
recommend heightened vigilance and the implementation of
preventive measures, per FATF,s October statements, by all
countries with respect to the financial transactions with
Iran given the significant vulnerability that Iran poses to
the international financial system. A statement like this
from your government would send a clear message to your GCC
partners that the risk arising from Iranian banking
transactions is real and that action must be taken to protect
the region,s banking system and prevent Iranian
proliferation.

-- On October 16, the FATF issued its fourth warning of the
serious threat posed by Iran's lack of a sufficient
anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing regime.
In contrast with prior FATF actions on Iran, this statement
marked a significant escalation in concern about the
terrorism finance threat emanating from Iran and ratcheted up
the call for preventive measures that should be implemented
by FATF members and other jurisdictions to protect their
financial sectors from this risk.

-- During the October plenary meeting, FATF also separately
issued guidance on the steps that countries should take to
implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR)
1803's call for vigilance over the activities of financial
institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in
Iran, in order to avoid such activities contributing to
proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or to the
development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

-- Iran uses deceptive tactics and front companies to
disguise its proliferation activities. The U.S. recommends
that Saudi Arabia highlight this fact with its domestic
businesses and GCC partners.

-- We also recommend that you reduce Saudi Arabian Industries
Corporation (SABIC) activities in Iran,s petrochemicals
market. The U.S. also proposes that Saudi Arabia suspend
Iran-GCC free trade area talks until Iran accepts the P5 1
incentives package.

-- U.S. Executive Order (E.O.) 13382 is an authority that
allows the U.S. to block the assets of WMD proliferators and
their supporters and thereby deny them access to the U.S.
financial and commercial systems. The U.S. recommends that
Saudi Arabia explore the creation of a similar legal
authority.

Export Control Implementation:

-- Saudi Arabia should begin work on drafting a comprehensive
export control law and adopt a comprehensive control list
that meets international standards, including the standards
set by the four multilateral export control regimes
(Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear
Suppliers Group, and Wassenaar Group).

-- A comprehensive export control system will give Saudi
Arabia the ability to ensure that its trade is secure and
will encourage high technology investment.

-- The United States is prepared to support Saudi Arabia in
this regard, including through our Export Control and Related
Border Security (EXBS) Program.

Express Resolve on the Iranian Threat:

-- Saudi Arabia should exercise leadership with neighbors in
the region and publicly by expressing concerns about Iran,s
continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and
destabilizing activities in the region.

-- We would appreciate public expressions of support for the
P5 1 dual track process including encouragement for Iran to
accept the incentives package.

-- Saudi Arabia should exercise its influence with China, in
particular, to persuade China to reduce its growing
energy/economic cooperation and weapons purchases. Such
efforts by China run contrary to the spirit of the UNSCRs and
the P5 1 dual track strategy. A high level Saudi delegation
could communicate to China Saudi concerns about the threat
posed by Iran,s actions.

Full Implementation of UNSCRs:

-- Full implementation of UNSCRs 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007),
and 1803 (2008), through vigilance and action against Iran,s
efforts to circumvent sanctions are key components to
maintaining pressure on Iran.

-- A useful step would be for KSA to vigorously implement
UNSCR provisions such as freezing financial assets and
imposing travel restrictions on designated entities and
individuals, prohibit dual-use exports, call for inspections
of IRISL and Iran Air Cargo shipment, and exercise vigilance
over any activities of financial institutions in KSA with
Iranian domiciled banks.

-- As a reference, the U.S. 60-day report on implementation
of UNSCR 1803 can be found at:
www.un.org/sc/committees/1737/memberstatesrep orts.shtml


END NONPAPER FOR SAUDI ARABIA

------------------
REPORTING DEADLINE
------------------

6. (U) Post should report results within seven business days
of receipt of this cable. Please address replies for ISN,
IO, T, TREASURY, and NEA/IR. Please include SIPDIS in all
replies.


----------------
POINT OF CONTACT
----------------

7. (U) Washington point of contact for follow-up
information is Nicole Menkhoff, ISN/RA, 202-736-4277,
MenkhoffN@state.sgov.gov and Kevin McGeehan, ISN/CPI,
202-647-5408, McGeehanKJ@state.sgov.gov.
RICE

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