Cablegate: Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley's December

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MANAMA 001885



E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2014

Classified by A/DCM Hallie H. Hahn for reasons 1.4 (b) and


1. (S) Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley met with
Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin
Alawi bin Abdulla December 5 on the margins of the IISS Gulf
Security Dialogue conference in Manama. Bin Alawi said that
Oman is looking forward to negotiating a free trade agreement
with the United States during 2005 and foresees no problems.
DNSA Hadley noted that bilateral counter terrorism
cooperation was going well, and bin Alawi said that Oman
would like closer coordination with the U.S. military and
intelligence services. Bin Alawi stated that the next
Iranian president would be a conservative loyal to Khamenei,
who does not want to repeat the Khatemi experience. Khatemi
told Omani officials during a November visit that if Iran
does not conclude a agreement on the nuclear issue during his
presidency, it will not happen. Bin Alawi suggested that the
international community could use Iran's interest in joining
the WTO and other organizations to apply pressure for
reforms. He noted that Oman's contacts with Israel had never
stopped and he hoped that Israel would help Abu Mazen build a
better life for Palestinians. Bin Alawi agreed to assist the
U.S. in working with Qatar to improve Al Jazirah's coverage.
End Summary.

FTA Priority in Bilateral Relationship

2. (C) Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf
bin Alawi bin Abdulla told Deputy National Security Advisor
Hadley December 5 that the bilateral relationship is very
strong and improving. He noted that the two countries would
negotiate a free trade agreement in 2005, and he foresees no
problems in completing the negotiations. DNSA Hadley said
that the FTA is a priority and the administration will work
closely with Congress to ensure its ratification. The
administration has a good track record in getting FTAs
through Congress. Bin Alawi said that discussions so far are
going well.

Seeking Improved CT Coordination

3. (C) DNSA Hadley stated that counter terrorism cooperation
is going very well. The U.S. recognizes that Oman is taking
some difficult steps, and we want to support Oman in a
discreet way. Bin Alawi responded that the purpose of the
cooperation is to achieve operational success, and Oman is
working hard on all aspects of CT cooperation. He suggested
that CT efforts would be more effective if friendly countries
developed a network to use against the terrorist networks.
Joint efforts would be particularly useful in combating
terrorism financing. DNSA Hadley agreed, saying that
cooperating countries often develop operational level
intelligence that can be used to interdict shipments of
weapons and WMD precursors. He promised to take bin Alawi's
suggestion back to Washington to encourage joint CT efforts
in the Gulf region.

4. (C) Bin Alawi said that GCC-level CT cooperation was not
very good. Because of strained relations between some
countries, in particular Qatari and Emirati relations with
Saudi Arabia, the U.S. may want to consider a regional
approach other than the GCC. Oman's greatest CT challenge is
controlling the movement of ships in the Gulf of Oman between
Oman and Iran. Oman is trying to enhance is capabilities in
this area, and there are discussions between the Omani and
U.S. military and intelligence services. Improved
coordination would be beneficial for the U.S. and the region.

No Repeat of Khatemi Experience in Iran

5. (S) In response to DNSA Hadley's question, bin Alawi said
that Iran is now under the control of the conservatives.
Both of the main presidential candidates - Rouhani and
Velayati - are close to Khamenei. Rafsanjani is another
possible candidate. Khamenei does not want to repeat the
experience of Khatemi and will bring in someone who is loyal
to him. A council will screen all candidates and those with
credibility in the streets will be thrown out. The years of
a liberal president are over. Khamenei's main motivation is
domestic, not international. The moderates want to abolish
the "velayat-e faghih," "government by the jurisprudent,"
which is the main source of Islamic ruling legitimacy in
Khomeini's vision of the Islamic Republic in Iran. A
foundation associated with this office controls 20 percent of
Iran's oil revenue and places representatives into every
significant organization in the country. Bin Alawi said that
the moderates would face tremendous opposition if they tried
to abolish the velayat-e faghih because of the people and
resources it controls. A military revolution would be
necessary to change the system, and this is not possible at
the current time. A new generation would be required to
abolish the old system, and this will not happen for perhaps
another twenty years. Bin Alawi stated that Iran's
leadership would find a way to buy off student leaders.

Time is Now for Deal on Nuclear Program

6. (S) Bin Alawi noted that Khatemi visited Oman in November
and discussed Iran's nuclear program. He told the Omanis
that if Iran does not conclude an agreement on the nuclear
issue during his presidency, it will not happen. Without an
agreement, Iran might withdraw from international
organizations that limit its flexibility. Khatemi recognizes
the dangers and so is pushing for a deal with the Europeans.
He wants the international community to recognize Iran's
right to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and
Iran plans to build a 7,000 MW nuclear reactor over the
coming years. Bin Alawi said that Oman could accept a
reactor, but because of Iran's military ambitions, could not
rule out Tehran's possible development of nuclear weapons.

7. (S) Bin Alawi said that Khatemi believes the west let him
down; he received praise, but nothing substantial. Bin Alawi
suggested that the international community could use Iran's
interest in joining the WTO and other organizations to apply
pressure for reforms. DNSA Hadley acknowledged that using
the accession process could be a way to pressure Iran.

Support for Abu Mazen

8. (C) DNSA Hadley stated that the President is focused on
the Middle East and sees some opportunities, particularly in
the peace process. PM Sharon recognizes that there is no
shortcut from Palestinian elections to final status
negotiations and wants to walk through the roadmap, if
conditions permit. He noted that Palestinian Finance
Minister Fayyad has to beg for money to pay his budget each
month. The international community should do more to help
him. Bin Alawi said that Oman would do so, and hopes that
Abu Mazen is elected president of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel should help Abu Mazen build a better life for his

9. (C) DNSA Hadley suggested that Oman should allow the
Israeli trade mission to return to the country once progress
is made on a peace settlement. Bin Alawi said that Oman's
contacts with Israel had never stopped. A GOI official is
present in Oman as part of the Middle East Desalinization
Resource Center - a holdover from the days of the Track Two
peace process. Bin Alawi met with Israeli Foreign Minister
Shalom in New York and they discussed the future of the peace
process. DNSA Hadley proposed that Oman raise the visibility
of these contacts when a process is underway between the
Israelis and Palestinians.

Work Al Jazirah Issue Quietly

10. (C) Bin Alawi mentioned that Oman shares U.S. concerns
about Al Jazirah. He said there is no point in speaking
publicly about the problem; this should be done quietly. He
offered to work with us and the Qataris. DNSA Hadley said
that Al Jazirah is very troublesome. Americans die in Iraq
because of Al Jazirah coverage. He said we would try to work
this issue quietly and along with the Omanis.

11. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

12. (C) The NSC cleared this message.


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