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Viewing cable 09TELAVIV2500, 40TH JOINT POLITICAL-MILITARY GROUP: EXECUTIVE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TELAVIV2500 2009-11-18 14:02 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Tel Aviv
VZCZCXRO1498
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHTV #2500/01 3221430
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 181430Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4258
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002500 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS PTER EG CH IR RU SA LE TU IS
SUBJECT: 40TH JOINT POLITICAL-MILITARY GROUP: EXECUTIVE 
SESSION (PART 1 OF 4) 
 
Classified By: A/DCM Marc Sievers, reasons 1.4 (b,d) 
 
1. (S) Summary:  During the Executive Session of the 40th 
Joint Political Military Group (JPMG), U.S. and Israeli 
counterparts continued discussion on the creation of four new 
Qualitative Military Edge (QME) working groups.  GOI 
interlocutors continued to raise concerns regarding the F-15 
sale to Saudi Arabia.  Both sides agreed that continued 
pressure be applied to Iran, especially following the 
disclosure of the nuclear facility in Qom.  GOI participants 
expressed concern regarding Chinese and Russian cooperation 
with respect to enhanced Iranian sanctions.  The GOI also 
raised dual citizenship concerns with respect to access to 
sensitive technology, and noted from its perspective Turkey's 
disturbing change of course toward Syria and Iran -- and away 
from Israel.  This is the first in four cables (septels) 
reporting on the JPMG.  End summary. 
 
2. (SBU) Israeli Participants: 
 
-- Brigadier General (res) Pinchas Buchris, MOD Director 
General 
-- Major General (ret) Amos Gilad, MOD Political-Military 
Chief 
-- Brigadier General Ronen Dan, acting Israeli Defense 
Attache to the United States 
-- Gad Dovev, Director, MOD Mission, New York 
-- Alon Bar, MFA Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs 
-- COL Shimon Arad, IDF J5 
-- Rami Yungman, MOD Political-Military Bureau 
-- Schmuel Royter, Assistant to the MOD Director General 
 
U.S. Participants: 
 
-- Andrew Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of 
Political-Military Affairs 
-- Luis Moreno, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv 
-- Dr. Colin Kahl, International Security Affairs, Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of Defense 
-- Brigadier General Jefforey Smith, Joint Staff 
-- Prem Kumar, Director for Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian 
and Jordanian Affairs, NSC 
-- Tom Goldberger, Director for Israel and Palestinian 
Affairs, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs 
-- COL Richard Burgess, Defense Attache, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv 
 
Qualitative Military Edge 
------------------------- 
 
3. (S) The Executive Session continued discussion from the 
September 30 Qualitative Military Edge (QME) meeting in 
Washington.  Both sides presented their primary points of 
contact for the four newly proposed working groups focusing 
on previous agreements, mitigation measures for the F-15 sale 
to Saudi Arabia, technical mitigation issues, and 
intelligence/policy.  Agreement was reached to begin working 
on the details of each working group's meeting schedule and 
timeline. 
 
4. (S) The GOI continued to express concern over the F-15 
sale to Saudi Arabia.  U.S. participants noted that the USG 
is unable to provide more detailed information about the sale 
until Saudi Arabia officially sends a Letter of Request 
(LOR).  The GOI expressed additional concerns about 
stationing these new aircraft at Tabuk airfield in the 
northwest corner of Saudi Arabia -- close to the Israeli 
border.  U.S. participants stated the USG understanding that 
this should not be an issue, as the Saudis are considering 
stationing new Typhoon aircraft at Tabuk.  The GOI also 
raised AMRAAM sales to Jordan; U.S. participants explained 
that the new C-7 AMRAAM is an export version with 
capabilities similar to the C-5 version -- and therefore 
provides little to no increase in capabilities. 
 
Iran, China and Russia 
---------------------- 
 
5. (S) Both sides expressed concern over the recent 
revelation regarding Iran's nuclear facility at Qom, and 
agreed that increased pressure should be applied directly and 
internationally against Iran in order to better determine 
Tehran's motives and next steps.  Both sides agreed that the 
facility at Qom should be inspected immediately.  One member 
of the Israeli delegation expressed the opinion that some 
consideration be given to "shutting Qom operations down 
completely" to prevent further progress on obtaining a 
nuclear weapon.  That said, the GOI argued that the 
international community not become bogged down on the Tehran 
Research Reactor (TRR) and Qom, thereby diverting focus from 
 
TEL AVIV 00002500  002 OF 002 
 
 
the bigger issue of Iran's nuclear program. 
 
6. (S) Several questions were raised about China's position 
on Iran's efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon.  Both sides 
agreed that continued engagement with China and Russia is 
needed -- as well as building a consensus in Europe.  The USG 
speculated, and the GOI concurred, that China will follow 
Moscow's lead.  USG participants argued that China would seek 
to avoid an international confrontation over Iran. The GOI 
described 2010 as a critical year -- if the Iranians continue 
to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more 
difficult to target and damage them.  Both sides then 
discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 bunker busting 
bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled 
quietly to avoid any allegations that the USG is helping 
Israel prepare for a strike against Iran. 
 
7. (S) The GOI made the case for "crippling sanctions"; 
cooperation between the United States, Europe, Russia and 
China will be necessary in order for these sanctions to be 
effective.  U.S. participants stressed the USG position that 
any discussions with Iran on this subject be finite; the USG 
will continue to monitor whether negotiations are making 
progress.  The GOI stated that it is not convinced the 
Iranians will negotiate in good faith unless there are 
visible and clear threats.  U.S. delegation members described 
eight lanes of sanctions, and outlined a plan to "pivot to 
apply appropriate pressure" on those points and tracks that 
have the most impact.  U.S. participants concurred that 2010 
is a critical year -- but the continued application of 
pressure is vital. 
 
8. (S) Regarding Russia, the GOI was not confident that 
Moscow will be helpful in any Iranian sanctions effort -- GOI 
participants opined that Russia is considered a "mystery" 
with respect to their views on Iran.  The GOI raised the 
Russian S-300 sale to Iran, noting that the transfer is still 
pending.  GOI participants argued that Moscow seeks a return 
to superpower status, but there are contradictory trends 
regarding Russia's internal condition. 
 
Dual Citizenship Issues 
----------------------- 
 
9. (S) The GOI raised the issue of dual citizenship within 
the context of access to sensitive technology.  U.S. 
participants acknowledged Israeli concerns, noting that the 
issue is being worked at the highest levels of the USG to 
reach consensus on how to proceed.  The GOI recommended 
obtaining a waiver similar to the relationship from which 
Canada or Australia benefit. 
 
Turkey 
------ 
 
10. (S) The GOI raised the current direction the Government 
of Turkey has taken toward Syria and Iran -- and away from 
Israel.  Israeli participants argued that Turkey has been 
supportive of Hamas in Gaza while pursuing a more "Islamic" 
direction with the goal of becoming a regional superpower. 
The GOI argued that the Turkish military is losing its 
ability to influence government decisions and strategic 
direction.  After this past year, GOI participants said they 
have a "bad feeling" about Turkey.  The GOI noted that the 
Israel Air Force (IAF) Commander in the past wanted to speak 
to the Turkish Air Force Commander, but his Turkish 
counterpart declined. 
 
11.  (U) A/S Shapiro has cleared on this cable. 
CUNNINGHAM