The secret US' Embassy cables are now available on Wikileaks. While the debate goes on about the legitimacy of this leak, the information is out there. The sheer volume of this information (250,000 cables) makes it hard to comprehend. For your convenience here are those cables relevant to the main issues in the Middle East. This post will be updated over the next few days.
•July 2008 - Mubarak's top concern for the stability of Iraq and the region is Iran. He believes that "as a result of the invasion of Iraq, Iran is spreading everywhere." Mubarak calls Iranians "big fat liars" and say they sponsor terrorism. He said he believes this opinion is shared by other leaders in the region. Yet he opined that no Arab state would join the U.S. in a formal defense alliance against Iran for fear of retaliation.
•Oct 2008 - Iran used the Iranian Red Crescent (IRC) to smuggle agents and weapons into other countries. The IRC facilitated the entry of Qods force officers to Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah war in summer 2006. IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments.
•March 2009 - Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) expressed his grave concerns about the Iranian threat to the region. He claimed Iranian leadership is concerned that dialogue with the West represents a regime threat, and that Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon unless the regime could be "split from inside" before nuclear capability was achieved.
•March 2009 - Iran has denied visas to the US' women's badminton team, because the US has announced the visit too early. The regime wanted to maintain full control of media coverage of the event, to avoid a replay of the 1998 US wrestling team visit, when Iranian crowds were filmed waving American flags and cheering the US team. The regime believed the USG issued the early announcement to create a similar dynamic, and now Khamenei and Ahmadinejad feel "burned." This exchange underscores the challenges to building trust with a regime that feels an obsessive fear of losing control over both the process and substance of possible engagement with the USG.
•June 2009 - Ahmadinejad administration is blamed for pursuing provocative anti-Sunni practices (including harassment of Sunni clergy and congregations and raids on Sunni mosques) and other “arrogant” crackdowns over the last few years. He claimed that these practices, combined with high unemployment, perceived discrimination
•July 2009 - According to Egyptian General Intelligence Service (EGIS) Chief Omar Soliman, Egypt suffers from Iranian interference, through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies, and its support for Egyptian groups like Jamaatt al-Islamiyya and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt will confront the Iranian threat, he continued, by closely monitoring Iranian agents in Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and any Egyptian cells.
•August 2009 - Has Ahmadinejad's star faded in the Arab world? during the post-election crisis Arab commentators have, for the first time, poked a hole in the veneer of the Islamic Republic's internal political system and explored its underpinnings more closely, often challenging the system's very legitimacy in on-air commentary. It seems Ahmadinejad has lost standing among some moderate Arabs, who have come to view his administration as oppressive, unpopular, and undemocratic. In 2005 many Arabs saw Ahmadinejad, in contrast to their own flawed leaders, as a humble and pious man who was brave enough to stand up for his people and the greater Muslim world by confronting Israel and the West head on. However, both the intensely competitive campaign period and the forceful reaction by the Iranian people to the official election results have led moderate Arabs to rethink Ahmadinejad's true disposition and he is no longer the "untouchable, holy figure" in the Arab world he once was.
•August 2009 - sources claim Supreme Leader Khamenei has terminal leukemia and is expected to die in months. Industry sources in Iran say almost all business executives and company directors throughout Iran feel that the June 12 elections are a fraud that was perpetrated by “six or seven Sepah (IRGC) Generals” who were afraid the IRGC would be sidelined if Mousavi won.
•Februaru 2010 - Iran is looking to acquire the following arms from Turkish firms: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) .38 caliber and wadcutter bullets; 40 mm automatic grenade launchers; 5.56 mm composite magazines (for M16 assault rifles), and 7.62 X 39 mm and 7.62 X 51 mm composite magazines from Turkey. The Secretary is asking Turkey to investigate these firms since Iran has a long history of providing arms and other military equipment to terrorist groups and that these items could easily end up in the hands of al-Qaida, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban;
•April 2006 -The leadership of the United Arab Emirates consider Hamas a terrorist organization and would not fund Hamas unless they denounce violence and accepted Israel. That is despite Hamas leaders' claims that the UAE pledged to continue to provide financial assistance to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
•July 2008 - Mubarak claims "Palestinians are quarrelling" and Hamas and other factions will reject any agreement made by Abu Mazen.
•February 2009 - a cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to the Secretary of State, claims Mubarak hates Hamas, and considers them the same as Egypt's own Muslim Brotherhood, which he sees as his own most dangerous political threat.
•March 2009: Assad hides behind the Palestinians when asked about Human Rights violations in Syria - why focus on 12 individuals without taking into account half a million Palestinian refugees in Syria alone, and the continued suffering of people in Gaza.
•January 2010 - US' Embassy analysis claims Turkey is becoming more focused on the Islamist world and its Muslim tradition in its foreign policy. Yet it does not want to abandon its traditional Western orientation and willingness to cooperate with the US. Turkey is trying to "post-modernize" itself. One major area of AKP effort has been to resolve problems with Turkey's immediate "near abroad." This effort stands in contrast with the "traditional" Turkish policy of letting these frozen conflicts fester, and is much more compatible with US and European interests. The signature accomplishment of this policy is the wooing of Syria. The AKP's "Neo Ottomanism"concept claims that the Balkans, Caucasus, and Middle East were all better off when under Ottoman control or influence; peace and progress prevailed. This is in part what drives Turkey to re-establish itself as a leader in the Middle East.