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Viewing cable 09BAGHDAD2569, PRIME MINISTER ACCUSES IRAN OF TRYING TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BAGHDAD2569 2009-09-24 13:01 2010-12-05 12:12 SECRET Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO3493
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGB #2569 2671351
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 241351Z SEP 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4826
INFO RUEHC/OPEC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T BAGHDAD 002569 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/24/2029 
TAGS: PREL ECON ENRG EPET IR IZ SY
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER ACCUSES IRAN OF TRYING TO 
DESTABILIZE IRAQ 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Hill for reasons 1.5 b,d 

SUBJ: Prime Minister Accuses Iran of Trying to Destabilize 
Iraq 

1. (S) In a September 22 meeting, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri 
al-Maliki told the Ambassador that Iran is intervening 
increasingly boldly in the Iraqi political process in a bid 
to "control the COR" (the Council of Representatives, the 
Iraqi Parliament). Iran has not discarded use of military 
means to attain its objectives, Maliki said, but for now it 
is focusing on political means. If Iran does not succeed in 
influencing the upcoming Iraqi national elections, Maliki 
said, he expects to see them return to military actions. 
Maliki said that the Iranian initiative was thwarted -- dealt 
a "fatal blow" -- by Dawa's refusal to join the Shi,a 
alliance being forged for the elections (the Iraqi National 
Alliance). Iran, he said, is trying to rally the Shi'a to 
counter the "Saudi project" to align the Sunni states. But 
if Dawa had joined the Shi'a alliance, he said, that "could 
have led to sectarian strife." 

2. (S) Maliki said that Iran is using the Saudi efforts as 
pretext to continue its intervention in Iraq. On September 
21, for example, the Saudis sponsored a meeting in Amman at 
which at least ten senior Iraqi Sunnis attended, including 
Rafi al-Issawi. While in Washington, Maliki said, he asked 
POTUS to intervene with Saudi Arabia to ask them to stop 
their efforts at rallying the Sunni, in part precisely to 
avoid inflaming sectarianism and to deny Iran that pretext 
for similarly seeking to rally the Shi,a. Maliki's concerns 
in this regard have not abated, he said. He chose not to 
press this issue again with VPOTUS during his September 18 
visit to Baghdad because he felt he had expressed his 
concerns once and it was not necessary to continue to raise 
the same issue. 

3. (S) Turning to the Mujahedin el Khalkh (MEK), the 
Ambassador urged Maliki not to take any provocative actions 
prior to the elections. Maliki took this point on board, but 
replied by asking what outcome the USG sees, and how long 
this situation can go on. Ambassador stressed that a.) the 
situation "won't go on forever," b.) the USG has sent a 
"stern message" to the MEK that they must deal directly with 
the GOI, not the USG, and c.) the U.S. base near the MEK camp 
will eventually be closing. The USG has urged the Europeans 
to take a similar stance, and is seeking greater United 
Nations involvement in treating the MEK as refugees. Maliki 
replied that the GOI "has to do something" so that it can say 
it has started the process. Otherwise, he said, this issue 
will be used against him in the elections. In Maliki's view, 
"whoever wants to return to their country can do so." The 
rest, he said, should be relocated away from the Iranian 
border, to protect them and Iraq from Iranian pressure. 
Iran, Maliki said, at one time was even contemplating a 
long-range missile strike on the camp, and even today is 
considering filing a case against Iraq for "harboring a 
terrorist organization." The GOI must try to relocate "at 
least 1,000" members before the end of the year, Maliki said, 
returning to his theme that the GOI must do something prior 
to the elections. Ambassador emphasized that any attempt to 
forcibly remove members could lead to bloodshed and crisis, 
and again urged Maliki not to do so. Maliki said he felt 
most members would willingly relocate. Only the leadership 
of the group objects, and they are "criminals." 

4. (S) Comment: Maliki,s comments regarding Iranian 
Q4. (S) Comment: Maliki,s comments regarding Iranian 
involvement in internal Iraqi affairs are the strongest we 
have heard. The Shi,a alliance INA is under considerable 
pressure from the Iranians to persuade or even threaten 
Maliki,s Dawa party to join the alliance, but on terms 
unfavorable or unsatisfactory to either Dawa or Maliki. He 
anticipates that if he pursues his non-sectarian State of Law 
alliance, he will encounter not only stiff resistance from 
the INA but also heavy and active opposition from the 
Iranians. Regarding MEK, while it appears that the GOI will 
not move immediately after Ramadan against the camp,s 
residents, the eventual transfer operation will likely occur 
before the end of the year. We will continue to advocate 
patience, direct GOI-MEK negotiation for a peaceful transfer 
and involvement of an international organization. End 
Comment. 
HILL