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Viewing cable 09BAGHDAD197, RUBAIE CLAIMS HE CARRIED MESSAGE OF CONFIDENT IRAQ

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BAGHDAD197 2009-01-26 16:04 2010-12-05 12:12 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO5259
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0197/01 0261657
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 261657Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1402
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 000197 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/I AND NEA/IR 
NSC STAFF FOR OLLIVANT AND MAGSAMEN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2019 
TAGS: PREL PTER PINR IR IZ
SUBJECT: RUBAIE CLAIMS HE CARRIED MESSAGE OF CONFIDENT IRAQ 
IN VISIT TO IRAN 

REF: BAGHDAD 91 

Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political-Military Affairs Michae 
l Corbin for reasons 1.4 (b-d). 

1. (S) Summary: National Security Advisor Mowafaq al-Rubaie 
carried the message of a more confident Iraq to Tehran in 
meetings with senior Iranian officials January 19-22, 
according to a readout of the visit Rubaie gave to Ambassador 
Satterfield, PMIN and Pol-Mil Counselor after returning to 
Baghdad. Rubaie said his Iranian interlocutors did not react 
harshly to the USG-GOI Security Agreement signed in December, 
while he characterized to them the problems of drug 
trafficking and other border issues as a threat to Iraq. He 
denied telling the Iranian press that the GoI would close the 
Mujahedin-e Khalq's Camp Ashraf in two months. He said he 
responded to Iranian questions about the "Erbil 3" by saying 
that after MNF-I turns these detainees over to GoI custody, 
the GOI would determine whether they face Iraqi judicial 
charges and release them if not. Rubaie said he believed the 
Iranians were ready to make overtures to the new U.S. 
administration and were waiting for the right "signs" to 
respond. Separately, Rubaie outlined his goals for the visit 
in a note to Ambassador Crocker, saying that he wanted to 
demonstrate Iraq is not a proxy for anyone. End summary. 

2. (S) In a meeting with Ambassador Satterfield, PMIN and 
Pol-Mil Couns, NSA Rubaie said that during his January 19-22 
visit to Tehran he met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 
Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki, Parliament Speaker Ali 
Larijani, and Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National 
Security Council. In addition, when pressed by Ambassador 
Satterfield, Rubaie said that Qasem Soleimani, head of the 
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force, had "stopped 
by" for a "very short meeting" on January 22 before Rubaie 
saw Ahmadinejad. Rubaie said he believed the Iranians were 
ready to make overtures to the new U.S. administration and 
were waiting for the right "signs" to respond. 

3. (S) Rubaie said the focus of his presentations to the 
Iranian officials was on Iraq's new status as a country more 
"confident" due to the reduction in violence. He said he had 
not heard a harsh reaction to the GOI decision to sign the 
U.S.-Iraq security agreement, instead the Iranians "were 
impressed" by what the GOI had obtained from the U.S. through 
effective bargaining. In response to a question from 
Ambassador Satterfield, Rubaie said the subject of a 
referendum on the security agreement had "not been raised at 
all" by the Iranians. Rubaie said he had told them that the 
GOI intended to monitor the implementation of the security 
agreement over the next six months to see if it met GOI 
expectations. 

4. (S) On other issues, he said he focused on the dangers of 
drug trafficking and border problems from Iran, describing 
these issues as a threat to Iraq. Regarding the Mujahedin-e 
Khalq (MeK), Rubaie said he had reiterated the GOI's position 
that the MeK should leave Iraq, but would not be forcibly 
expelled. He claimed he had not stated as reported in 
Iranian press that the MeK's Camp Ashraf would be closed in 
two months. 

5. (S) Rubaie said the Iranians had raised the issue of the 
"Erbil 3" -- IRGC officers detained by MNF-I in 2007 who 
claimed to be in Iraq as diplomats -- and asked when they 
would be released. Rubaie said he had responded that when 
MNF-I handed them over to the GOI, the GOI would determine 
whether they faced any Iraqi judicial charges. If not, they 
Qwhether they faced any Iraqi judicial charges. If not, they 
would be released. Ambassador Satterfield asked if the 
Iranians had raised their longstanding request for 
accreditation of two "diplomats" (know to the GoI and US to 
be IRGC officers) to Iranian consulates in Irbil and 
Sulaimaniyah. Rubaie said the subject did not come up. 

6. (S) In terms of atmospherics, Rubaie said all of his 
interlocutors had been speaking from the same set of talking 
points. They had all also had a binder of press clippings of 
statements by Rubaie critical of Iran going back over the 
past three years. Rubaie had responded that these statements 
were reactions to Iran's continual squeezing of Iraq. In an 
elaborate metaphor, he said he had told the Iranians that 
there is an Arab proverb that when one steps on someone's 
stomach, the victim involuntarily protests by exhaling. 
Soleimani had responded that "Iran is the mother of all Shia 
in the world" and had quoted back a Koranic proverb that "no 
matter what one's parents do, a child should never criticize 
them." 

BAGHDAD 00000197 002 OF 002 



7. (S/NF) Separately, Rubaie outlined his goals for the 
visit in a note to Ambassador Crocker. He said that he 
wanted to demonstrate Iraq will not be a proxy for anyone, 
build a cooperative relationship with Iran, explain GoI MeK 
policy, express the advantages to Iran of a stable Iraq, and 
explain the advantages to Iraq and its neighbors of the 
"Withdrawal Agreement." Among his planned talking points were 
concerns about the discovery of Iranian-made weapons and 
ammunition used against Iraqis and Americans, while noting 
that "the rate of this has been much lower in recent weeks 
than in the past." (NOTE: Shortly before Rubaie departed for 
Iran, MNF-I intelligence officers briefed him about recently 
discovered Iranian munitions in Iraq that were apparently 
manufactured as recently as 2008.) 

8. (S) Comment: In contrast to Rubaie's tough-talking 
descriptions of the Tehran meetings, press accounts portrayed 
the visit as a warm affirmation of Iraqi-Iranian relations. 
Both depictions are self-serving; the truth is likely 
somewhere in the middle. But Rubaie's description of Iranian 
acquiescence to the Security Agreement is consistent with 
reports of PM Maliki's visit to Tehran this month (reftel) 
and other indications that the Iranians are treating visiting 
Iraqi officials with increasing degrees of respect. The 
Iranians haven't publicly objected to the Security Agreement 
and may be hopeful that we are going to withdraw relatively 
quickly. 
CROCKER