Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 10KUWAIT142, KUWAIT INTERIOR MINISTER SOUNDS ALARM ON IRAN;

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #10KUWAIT142.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10KUWAIT142 2010-02-17 14:02 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Kuwait
VZCZCXRO5845
PP RUEHBC RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKU #0142/01 0481442
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 171442Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4627
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 000142 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
NEA/ARP, NEA/RA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER IR YM KU
SUBJECT: KUWAIT INTERIOR MINISTER SOUNDS ALARM ON IRAN; 
OFFERS ASSURANCES ON GTMO RETURNEES AND SECURITY 
 
REF: KUWAIT 137 
 
Classified By: DCM Tom Williams for reasons 1.4 b and d 
 
1. (S/NF)  Summary:  Interior Minister Jaber Al-Khaled Al 
Sabah told Ambassador February 16 that he is deeply concerned 
about Iranian actions, particularly in Yemen with the 
Houthis.  A security hard-liner whose views do not always 
reflect those of the rest of the GoK, Shaykh Jaber suggested 
Iran is intent upon exporting its revolution and can only be 
deterred by force from achieving its nuclear ambitions; he 
characterized Iran as the "beating heart" of Islamic 
extremism, adding that even Palestinians now aspire to be 
Shi'a because they have bought Iranian "stories" about Shi'a 
being more prepared to "fight to the end" and stand up to 
Israel.  Now Iran is trying to infiltrate Egypt, exploiting 
poverty there.  Ambassador emphasized USG effort to pursue a 
"pressure track" with Iran; on Yemen she suggested many of 
Yemen's problems were home-grown and required economic and 
social solutions at least as much as military ones.  Shaykh 
Jaber concurred, calling President Saleh "a leader with an 
NCO mentality who thinks he can buy loyalty" when what is 
needed is strong, honest government and firmer security 
measures.  Ambassador sought GoK assurances on legality and 
intent to ensure monitoring and withholding of travel 
documents for any future GTMO returnees, noting that without 
those firm commitments the cases of the remaining two 
Kuwaitis in GTMO may prove difficult to resolve.  The 
Minister promised a more formal response but offered his 
personal assurances that travel documents would not be 
issued, and said monitoring of the last two returnees was 
constant and ongoing.  Ambassador also raised the need for 
GoK outreach to the Parliament to prioritize passage of 
pending legislation to criminalize terror financing; Shaykh 
Jaber said politics was hindering progress on this issue and 
on many other important bills, including one to criminalize 
cyber crimes, but said his Ministry was committed to pursuing 
radical extremists and ensuring the safety of Americans in 
Kuwait, with or without new laws.  End Summary. 
 
Iran on my mind 
---------------- 
 
2. (S/NF)  The blunt and outspoken Minister of Interior, 
Shaykh Jaber Al-Khaled Al Sabah, told Ambassador and DCM 
February 16 that Iran is his major concern.  Iran is intent 
upon exporting its revolution and Shi'ism, has a gameplan, 
and will only be deterred from achieving its objectives - 
including a nuclear weapons capability - by force.  The U.S. 
will not be able to avoid a military conflict with Iran, if 
it is serious in its intention to prevent Tehran from 
achieving a nuclear weapons capability.  In Yemen, the 
Houthis have shown remarkable resilience - where is their 
power coming from?  Yemeni extremists are making money from 
the drug trade, moving narcotics into Saudi Arabia.  The GoK 
has been able to block some of the flow of these drugs from 
Saudi into Kuwait, but remains very concerned about this. 
Iran is involved, clearly, as a producer of drugs and a 
facilitator of transit along the 
Afghanistan-Iran-Somalia-Yemen pipeline.  Now Iran is trying 
to expand its influence in Egypt, seeking to exploit poverty 
there and infiltrate the security services. 
 
Iranian Mythology Resonates 
---------------------------- 
 
3. (S/NF)  Shaykh Jaber said that the Sunni-Shi'a balance in 
the region is at risk and chaos could ensue.  Iran is 
"calling the shots" in Iraq, and has so convinced the region 
of its stories - that Shi'a and Iran will "fight to the end" 
where others will not, that only the Shi'a and Iran really 
stand up to Israel - that now many Palestinians want to 
convert to Shi'ism.  As a consequence, Iran has become "the 
beating heart of Islamic extremism."  The Minister apologized 
for speaking so frankly, but said he wanted to clearly convey 
what is of greatest concern to the GoK. 
 
4. (S/NF) Note: The Interior Minister's concern about Iran 
may have been informed by a couple of recent incidents 
briefed February 17 to the US Navy LNO at the Kuwait Navy 
Base (see IIR septel for details).  In one incident, on 
February 6, IRGC Navy speedboats harassed Kuwaiti fishermen; 
in a more serious incident on February 15 and again on 
February 16, three IRGC Navy speedboats approached a joint 
Kuwait/Saudi oil terminal in international waters (located in 
the Al-Hout field off Mina Az-Zour), approached as close as 
fifty meters and lingered for forty-five minutes on the first 
occasion, but only fifteen minutes the second time (perhaps 
 
KUWAIT 00000142  002 OF 003 
 
 
as a result of the presence of the Kuwaiti patrol boat 
Istiqlal that was dispatched to the terminal to hold station 
after the first incident).  End Note. 
 
Pressure Track and Yemen Clarification 
--------------------------------------- 
 
5. (S/NF)  Ambassador took issue with the Minister's 
characterization of Iran's role in Iraq and then moved to 
review U.S. efforts along the "pressure track" with Iran.  In 
Yemen, Iran may no doubt try to exploit the situation with 
the Houthis, but the causes of the conflict were largely 
internal and would require Yemeni President Saleh to pursue a 
political and social effort as well as a military campaign - 
as was noted in the recent London conference, many of Yemen's 
challenges are ones of governance.  Shaykh Jaber agreed, 
characterizing Saleh as having "an NCO's mentality that you 
can win everything with money" when what is needed is less 
corruption and a more proactive security posture.  The 
Minister noted that Kuwaiti Salafists are sympathetic to the 
cause of the southern secessionists in Yemen and are being 
watched by the GoK; he stated, however, that no Kuwaitis are 
actively involved in the fighting.  Ambassador noted that 
some in the U.S. intelligence community believe that a 
considerable number of Kuwaitis are involved with Al-Qaeda, 
particularly in the AFPAK theater; Shaykh Jaber said Kuwaitis 
tend more to be sympathizers than practitioners, but said 
they all were being watched closely. 
 
GTMO Assurances/Clarifications Needed 
--------------------------------------- 
 
6. (S/NF)  The Ambassador raised the issue of the remaining 
two Kuwaiti GTMO detainees, and sought the Minister's 
confirmation that the commitments outlined in the latest 
draft diplomatic note on oversight of returnees - 
particularly with reference to constant monitoring and 
withholding of passports - were both legal and accurately 
reflected GoK intent.  Clarification of the pending 
assurances would likely be necessary given the greater 
seriousness of the cases against the remaining two.  The 
Minister promised a more formal response later, and made 
clear that he could not interfere with the activities of the 
judiciary, but said he was sure the two most recent returnees 
did not have passports, and characterized their level of 
monitoring by the security service as "so close they can 
smell us and feel our breath on the back of their necks." 
 
Need for Passage of AML law 
--------------------------- 
 
7. (S/NF)  The Ambassador - as she had earlier with the 
Foreign Minister (reftel) - noted that Kuwait is now the only 
country on the Arabian Peninsula not to have criminalized 
terror financing.  A pending law is before parliament, but 
Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi had commented privately to the 
Ambassador that the government had not made its passage a 
priority for the current legislative session.  Shaykh Jaber 
responded that politics was getting in the way of much needed 
legislation, not just TF, but also a bill to define cyber 
crime.  The Minister offered his assurances that the GoK is 
very serious on the matter of terror financing and 
facilitation, with or without the law, and was committed to 
this and to protecting Americans in Kuwait.  At the close of 
the meeting, the Ambassador provided Shaykh Jaber with drop 
copies of two previous requests for information on alleged 
anti-American plotters in Kuwait, acknowledging that these 
could be "poison pen" cases, but requesting a formal response 
from the Ministry to ensure appropriate due diligence had 
been done. 
 
Comment 
-------- 
 
8. (S/NF)  Shaykh Jaber survived a no-confidence vote in 
Parliament late last Fall, but the GoK expended only enough 
effort to ensure his victory by a relatively narrow margin. 
The reported cost of that governmental support (arranged by a 
Prime Minister from whom Shaykh Jaber is estranged) was 
Shaykh Jaber's acceptance that KSS Chief 'Athbi Al-Fahad Al 
Sabah would report directly to the PM, not to the Interior 
Minister as has traditionally been the case.  The Interior 
Minister's tough and candid talk on Iran, consequently, while 
it offers useful insight into the private worries likely 
shared by many of Kuwait's seniormost leadership, should not 
necessarily be seen as an articulation likely to result in 
any meaningful GoK policy initiatives. 
 
 
KUWAIT 00000142  003 OF 003 
 
 
********************************************* ********* 
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit: 
visit Kuwait's Classified Website at: 
 
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Kuwa it 
********************************************* ********* 
JONES