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Viewing cable 10ABUDHABI97, CODEL LOWEY WITH UAE FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ABUDHABI97 2010-02-22 12:12 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Abu Dhabi
VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAD #0097/01 0531246
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 221246Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0346
INFO GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI
S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000097 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
FOR NEA/ARP AND NEA/IR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/22 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETTC UNSC IR AE
SUBJECT: CODEL LOWEY WITH UAE FOREIGN MINISTER ON IRAN 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D) 
 
1. (S/NF) Summary.  In a February 17 meeting, UAE Foreign Minister 
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (AbZ) discussed Iran with a 
four-member Congressional delegation led by Chairwoman Nita Lowey 
of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. 
AbZ told the Codel the nuclear issue is only one aspect of the Iran 
problem, and that Iran's regional meddling was a serious concern. 
He pledged the UAE's backing as the US rallies support for new 
sanctions but questioned whether they would achieve the desired 
effect.  AbZ noted the UAE's growing concern that Gulf allies were 
being shut out of Iran sanctions planning.  End Summary. 
 
 
 
IRAN'S REACTORS AND REACH 
 
------------------------- 
 
 
 
2. (S/NF) AbZ began by expressing pride in the US-UAE 123 agreement 
and the bilateral relationship generally.  According to AbZ, the 
123 is a powerful example for the region and provides a transparent 
alternative to Iran's nuclear model.  The UAE views Iran as a huge 
problem that goes far beyond nuclear capabilities.  Iranian support 
for terrorism is broader than just Hamas and Hizballah.  Iran has 
influence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern 
Province of KSA, and Africa (AbZ mentioned Nigeria specifically). 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo 
Chavez have close, cooperative ties.  If Iran acquires nuclear 
weapons, the expeditionary aspect of its foreign policy will become 
ever more challenging for neighboring states. 
 
 
 
POSSIBILITY AND FUTILITY OF SANCTIONS 
 
------------------------------------- 
 
 
 
3. (S/NF) Lowey asked what AbZ thought about tougher sanctions 
against Iran and how the UAE can help with China.  AbZ said the US 
and its allies "have to decide how to stop Iran" and that the UAE 
was surprised at the Chinese attitude.  AbZ noted the Emiratis and 
the Saudis have spoken to the Chinese, and the UAE expressed a 
willingness to expand its energy ties (Note: AbZ seemed to be 
indicating that this was intended as a carrot, but he acknowledged 
the difficulty of supplanting an Iran-China trade relationship that 
reached $50 billion last year.  End Note.) 
 
4. (S/NF) AbZ urged quick action on tough new sanctions.  The UAE 
is conscientious in its efforts to enforce existing UNSC sanctions 
but the Iranians have been able to find other routes, bypassing UAE 
ports, to import what they need.  AbZ predicted that smart and 
swift implementation of new sanctions could still be ineffective 
but said that we must try. 
 
 
 
GULF NEIGHBORS FEELING LEFT OUT 
 
------------------------------- 
 
 
 
5. (S/NF) AbZ highlighted a growing belief the UAE and the GCC are 
being left out of our Iran sanctions consultations.  AbZ told 
Chairwoman Lowey that the P5+1 negotiations with Iran should be 
expanded to included the GCC.  AbZ said there is a "trust barrier" 
to full GCC support for US policy, as there is a deep suspicion 
that the US is proceeding without consulting Gulf allies. 
 
6. (S/NF) AbZ raised (as he likes to do regularly) the 2005 EU 
package offer to Iran that was briefed to the UAE by the Iranians, 
not the US or another ally.  Things have improved since then, but 
"we still need some serious trust building between the US, the EU, 
and the GCC" on this issue.  The DCM reminded AbZ (and the Codel) 
that there are extensive and privileged communications between the 
UAE and the USG on policy towards Iran and on sanctions planning. 
AbZ acknowledged there was trust from the UAE, but the rest of the 
GCC had continuing concerns.  "Your problem today is to fix your 
relations with the GCC, quickly.  A few countries in the region are 
already dealing with Iran as if they had the bomb." 
 
7. (S/NF) AbZ said GCC states are left wondering what will happen 
to them in any deal the US and Iran reach through back channel 
conversations.  He compared the current multilateral conversations 
over Iran's nuclear program with negotiations over North Korea's 
nuclear program, asking why North Korea's neighbors are part of the 
Six Party negotiations, but the GCC is not equally involved in 
similar conversations about and with Iran. 
 
 
 
"WHAT IF?" SCENARIOS 
 
-------------------- 
 
 
 
8. (S/NF) In response to questions from members of Congress, AbZ 
said that if Iran goes nuclear others in the region will move 
forward on the same track and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty 
will completely break down.  He said a crisis or confrontation in 
the region would create oil supply problems worldwide.  14 million 
barrels a day pass through the Strait of Hormuz.  That said, he 
noted that the US and UAE militaries have plans to keep Hormuz 
clear. 
 
9. (S) AbZ concluded the meeting with a soliloquy on the importance 
of a successful peace process between Israel and its neighbors as 
perhaps the most effective way of reducing Iran's regional 
influence. 
 
10. (SBU) Members of Congress in attendance: Congresswoman Nita 
Lowey, Congressman Tom Cole, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, 
Congresswoman Donna Edwards. 
OLSON