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Cablegate: Bahrain's Crown Prince On Iran and Gulf Security

VZCZCXRO6410
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0470 1961409
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 141409Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7989
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0241
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

S E C R E T MANAMA 000470

SIPDIS

BAGHDAD FOR AMBASSADOR ERELI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2018
TAGS: PREL PTER MARR IR BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN'S CROWN PRINCE ON IRAN AND GULF SECURITY

Classified By: CDA Christopher Henzel for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1.(S) Summary: Bahrain's Crown Prince called on the U.S. and Bahraini militaries to update their plans for communication and cooperation in view of heightened Iranian rhetoric. End summary.

2.(C) NAVCENT commander Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, accompanied by Charge, paid an introductory call July 10 on Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. After warmly welcoming Gortney and praising the Navy's close relationship with Bahrain, the CP sought Gortney's assessment of Iran's ongoing military exercises. The CP commented that the Iranians were reported to be plotting attacks on Gulf rulers. "They are trying to scare us, but it's not working." He described the struggle against violent extremists, whether of the Al-Qaeda variety or the Iranian, as a "generational struggle" that the Gulf states need to wage in partnership with the U.S. Update Plans ------------

3.(S) The CP referred to current heightened public rhetoric about military action and response options, particularly Iranian threats to strike U.S. bases in the Gulf, which he said would presumably include U.S. Navy facilities in Bahrain. The CP stressed the importance of maintaining close lines of communication and cooperation between the U.S. and Bahrain. Admiral Gortney noted the Navy would continue to work closely with the Bahrain Defense Force, furthering the strong relationship that we already enjoy. Charge added that CENTAF Commander General North's June conference of GCC Air Chiefs in Bahrain had gone well, and will be followed by further, more technical talks. The recent BMD exercise involving U.S. Fifth Fleet AEGIS ships and Patriot batteries in Bahrain and the UAE sent a useful message to Iran, and additional USG decisions related to missile defense should come soon. Charge also noted that Embassy Manama's Office of Military Cooperation, in coordination with CENTCOM, is reviving the U.S.-Bahrain Military Planning Committee, and that it will meet this fall for the first time in five years. The CP welcomed these developments, indicated the importance of coordination at the working level, and commented that he will probably be in Washington in early September and will seek meetings at DoD. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** HENZEL

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