The diplomatic documents published by WikiLeaks Friday are only the first batch of what the group says will be a much larger release, but they've already provided an unusual level of insight into the day-to-day of Saudi diplomacy - giving a snapshot of the lavish spending habits of senior royals and the political intrigue percolating across the Middle East. Many of the scores of documents reviewed by AP appear aimed at keeping track of Iranian activity across the region or undermining Tehran's interests.
Special prosecutor Alberto Nisman's accusation that President Cristina Fern ndez de Kirchner secretly negotiated with Iran to avoid punishing those responsible for the devastating 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre is consistent with the way in which his probe has long squarely looked at Iran while ignoring Syrian and local connections. US Embassy cables leaked in 2011 showed Nisman had a close relationship with Washington. Nisman's close ties to the United States - which also favours the position that Iranian agents were behind the attack - was revealed in the aftermath of the Wikileaks data dump of State Department cables in 2011, in which Embassy officials briefed official US government offices about the content of the meetings held with Nisman.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has alleged that the United States is supporting holdout investors in their dispute with Argentina over debt defaulted in 2001, as a way of punishing the country for the memorandum of understanding signed with Iran to advance investigations into the AMIA bombing.
According to the source of WikiLeaks, four years ago a deal between Moscow and Tel Aviv took place. In exchange for the codes of Iranian Tor-M1 missiles, the Israelis reportedly handed over to the Russian military the codes for the Georgian UAV. In 2005-2007, Georgia bought Israeli drones, multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles and equipment that were then used in South Ossetia.
Russia provided Israel security codes to access Iran s Tor- M1 air-defense systems in exchange for an Israeli handover of codes to hack drones sold to Georgia, according to a leaked email from a private American intelligence company.
Former Pakistan President Pervez Mussharaf's government pushed Iran to abandon their nuclear-weapons programme to stop another Muslim country from achieving that status, secret American cables have revealed.
Ofcom is said to have close ties to Britain's royal family. And the cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks show that Press TV's programs on the royal wedding, which many in the country described as extravagant, angered the royal family.
Iraq has become a hotbed of regional rivalries. Saudi Arabian enmity towards Maliki was spelled out in a 2007 WikiLeaks cable that reported Saudi King Abdullah describing the Iraqi prime minister as "an Iranian agent." Saudi Arabia, which regards Iran as a dangerous regional rival, has refused to set up an embassy in Baghdad and deliberately sought to exclude Iraq from regional bodies such as the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Saudi Arabia s King Abdullah told US diplomats that by toppling former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the US had presented Iraq to Iran "on a golden platter." That assessment, recorded in a 2005 embassy cable released by WikiLeaks, was affirmed in the eyes of Saudi Arabia s Sunni Muslim rulers by the outbreak of sectarian squabbling that followed last week s departure of the last US troops from Iraq after almost nine years of occupation.
In a diplomatic cable sent by the US State Department to the US embassy in Amman in August 2007, officials warned that the Arab Bank could be unwittingly assisting proliferation-related transfers between Iran, Syria and North Korea. - We are concerned that Iran, Syria and DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] proliferation entities are using the Arab Bank network to process what may be proliferation-related transactions, - read the cable, released by WikiLeaks on its website at the end of August and viewed by The Jordan Times.
Despite Azerbaijan s majority Shia population, the government has funded the construction of two new synagogues in Baku in recent years, and maintains warm relations with Israel which have angered its neighbour Iran.
The equipment supplied by Zibo Chemet includes technology and expertise that would allow the Iranian company to produce glass-lined reactor vessels resistant to the chemicals they contain.
Iran, Pakistan and North Korea wanted to buy materials for possible military use from Swiss companies, a newspaper reported on Saturday, citing US diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks that criticised Swiss officials for being less than transparent.
"Bahraini government officials sometimes privately tell U.S. official visitors that some Shi'a oppositionists are backed by Iran. Each time this claim is raised, we ask the GOB to share its evidence. To date, we have seen no convincing evidence of Iranian weapons or government money here since at least the mid-1990s."
U.S. President Barack Obama's push for democratic reforms in Egypt has faced resistance from its longtime leader, in part because President Hosni Mubarak believes Washington's past pressure for change has caused chaos in the Middle East, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables show.
On November 4, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, arrived in Geneva. He held a press conference in which he hinted that he was considering requesting political asylum in Switzerland. Assange spent two days there as the guest of an Iranian non-governmental organization, which also sponsored the press conference.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told foreign journalists Tuesday that the American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed that Iran and its nuclear program were the primary concern for leaders in the Middle East.
With another round of discussions on Iran's nuclear programme soon to take place in Turkey, this document from WikiLeaks is an important snapshot of why the last set of talks between Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) failed to make progress in autumn 2009.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought some kind of nuclear fuel swap deal more than a year ago, but faced internal pressures from hard-liners who viewed it as a "virtual defeat," according to U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
A few weeks ago a WikiLeaks cable emerged in which an Iranian source, talking to a US diplomat, said President Ahmadinejad had been slapped across the face by the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari.
In August 2009, less than two months after the disputed Presidential election, the Iranian authorities held a mass trial of more than 100 defendants in Tehran. The proceedings were more for show than for due legal process: unlike most hearings, they were held in public --- indeed they were televised --- and they were accompanied by a series of high-profile "confessions".
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi reportedly said in 2009 that Israel would have only between 10 and 12 minutes of warning in the event of an Iranian missile attack, AFP quoted leaked U.S. cables on Sunday
A recently leaked US embassy cable, written in February, said that 'according to a source,' Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari slapped Ahmadinejad during a mid-January meeting of Iran s Supreme National Security Council held shortly after the Ashura demonstrations in Iran on 27 December.
In August 2007, a well-placed Iranian approaches the US Embassy in London with an offer. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), with its "central and preeminent role in the Iranian government", will co-operate with the US in Iraq, but "a U.S. terrorist designation of the IRGC would prevent any such cooperation".
What caught my eye, however, was Talabani's reading of the state of the Iranian regime and of the opposition posed by the Green Movement. Commenting a week after the demonstrations on 27 December and the regime's mobilisation of support three days later, Talabani assesses, "Tt was not that the Iranian regime was weak, but rather that the opposing side was strong....Whereas the demonstrations at first were attacking Iranian President Ahmadinejad, they have now shifted to being against Supreme Leader Khamenei."
What do you think of the cable in WikiLeaks about King Abdullah s statement on Iran? Of course this is nothing new. We have long known that most Arab governments are scared of a nuclear Iran. At the same time, the Iranian government doesn t really care about such opinions. Do you think such leaks create more friction between Iran and its neighbors?
An interesting snapshot from December 2009 in Iraq: local sources warn of Iran's attempts to "extend its influence", specifically in the central city and key religious centre of Najaf.
The events of 22 Bahman (11 February 2010) were a significant disappointment for the Iranian opposition. In the weeks before the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, there was an excitement that protests against the Government and regime --- which had continued despite repression and made a notable impact in the Ashura demonstrations of 27 December --- would build, possibly to a critical point
Here are two recent WikiLeaks releases that deal with Iran. The first is from January 2009 and is a round-robin telegram from the State Department to many U.S. embassies asking them to keep their eyes peeled for any information about Iran s possible courting of Latin American countries and/or possible establishment of terrorist bases there. The second describes a suspected delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to Venezuela via Turkey in March of the same year.
At noon on the day after the June 2009 Presidential election, the US Consulate in Dubai --- the major "watching post" for events in Iran --- offered a snap assessment of events. What is initially striking is the Consulate's firm declaration of belief (based on which sources? hard information or just chatter from Iranians with US officials?) that the result had been manipulated for a first-round victory for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last February that no one could stop Israel from attacking Iran if it feels an existential threat, according to a classified cable released by WikiLeaks.
Gleeful Israeli leaders and their neo-conservative supporters here have spent much of the past week insisting that the United States State Department cables published by WikiLeaks prove that Sunni Arab leaders in the Middle East are far more preoccupied with the threat posed by an ascendant and possibly nuclear Iran than with a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is ecstatic. He has come to the conclusion that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, revealing that the Saudis privately favour a military strike on Iran, has vindicated Israel's hawkish stance. With Saudi Arabia aboard the war train, how can it possibly be derailed?
Saudi Arabia proposed an Arab army should be deployed in Lebanon, with US air and naval cover, to stop Hizbullah after it seized control of parts of Beirut in 2008, according to leaked US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower site .
The dominant theme that emerged in United States media coverage of the first round of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables last week was that Arab regimes in the Gulf - led by Saudi Arabia - shared Israel's view that Iran's nuclear program had to be stopped, by military force if necessary.
In September 2009, an Iranian political source --- who also happens to be trained in martial arts --- tells the US Embassy in Azerbaijan that the regime is pressuring martial arts clubs, despite suspicions that they could be assisting opposition groups, to provide instruction for the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards.
Arab Gulf states, some of whom were exposed by the WikiLeaks release of US State Department cables as privately urging an American military strike against Iran, are now publicly calling for a diplomatic approach to stifle their neighbor's nuclear aspirations
In September 2009, the US Embassy in Baghdad summarised Iraqi perceptions of their neighbours in two cables. Only the first of the cables has been released, to my knowledge, but it was enough for coverage which set aside Turkey, Kuwait, and Syria for a dramatic comparison of the Saudis and Iranians: "Iraqi concerns [over Saudi Arabia]...represent a fundamental divergence from the American and British view of Iran as arch-predator in Iraq."
Paucelle explained that European Union members would protest the first of two inauguration ceremonies for President Ahmadinejad by sending low-ranking diplomats. Paucelle continued, however, that the Iranians would not know of the protest: "If the Iranians find out beforehand that the EU will not send Ambassador-level representation, then they may rescind the invitations to the August 3 event." Maintaining this sign of disapproval that would not be known to the Iranians as a sign of disapproval was difficult, Paucelle noted, "It's hard to keep a secret when 27 nations are involved but we are trying."
The US has worked discreetly to block the supply of Iranian and Syrian weapons to the Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah, pressuring Arab governments not to co-operate in many cases where the requests were based on secret intelligence provided by Israel.
The second of three long cables from the US Consulate in Dubai in January 2010 assessing the political situation in Iran. (The first cable was published on EA yesterday.) We think the document is very significant, both for a vision of US thinking in January and for the situation today, and will have a full analysis on Sunday.
Reporting from Beirut As protesters poured into the streets of Iran in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, U.S. diplomats scrambled to decipher the erupting political crisis and the goals of the opposition's so-called green movement, according to recently disclosed diplomatic cables. The diplomats hurried to understand without the benefit of an official outpost in Tehran, a result of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Instead they read news bulletins and spoke with allied embassies in places like Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. They contacted Iranian dissidents, human rights activists and disgruntled businessmen, according to the confidential dispatches made public in recent days by WikiLeaks.
Journalist Gareth Porter speaks with The Real News about the initial handling of the Wikileaks documents on Iran, putting another context on the headline that Arab leaders called for military action against Tehran. (The interview starts at the 3-minute mark.)
WikiLeaks revelations that American officials were planning to raise pressure on Iran with more sanctions and a missile defense shield even while President Obama was making high-profile public overtures to Iran are being seen in Tehran as validation of deep skepticism from the start about Obama s effort.
In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent out a cable to the Department's Iran experts around the world about "a report regarding an Iranian Government decision to remove anti-American slogans and art from Tehran's buildings":
Gary Sick analyses the Wikileaks documents, "The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Obama was never sincere about his engagement strategy. It has yet to be tried": The latest Wikileaks information dump includes an enormous body of cable traffic dealing with the US and Iran. Most of it simply confirms what most people already believed:
"The biggest 'game changer' had been this past summer's presidential elections. The events were causing backlash from much of the population. Parents and grandparents were saying that they do not want their children to be forced to experience the same Iran that they, themselves, have been living under for the last 30 years. For the first time, one can see "kill Khamenei" and "death to Khamenei" scrawled on walls in Tehran.
The leaked reports sent by United States officials abroad to Washington reveal a treacherous playing field for the United States in the Middle East. While the some of the 219 diplomatic cables publicly released to date - of a reported 251,000 obtained by WikiLeaks, an independent international organization that facilitates leaks and makes documents public - cover a range of countries and issues, a major theme of particular interest to US media was the support by some Arab leaders for a US attack on Iran.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants to have it both ways; lament the unauthorized release of thousands of US government documents and promise to do whatever is necessary to stop it, and, simultaneously, to harvest the Iran-bashing windfall those leaks provide.
What does a child feel in a toy store? That must certainly be the feeling among intelligence officers, academics, journalists and the curious, who have looked at the tsunami of documents released last night by WikiLeaks, taken from secret U.S. State Department cables.
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.
A report from the American Embassy in Istanbul on 28 August 2009. This was six weeks after former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's dramatic Tehran Friday Prayer, accompanied by demonstration, and three weeks after President Ahmadinejad was finally inaugurated for a second term:
U.S. diplomatic cables released by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks include remarks from an Iran source in 2009 saying Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has terminal cancer, French daily Le Monde reported.
The New York Times has decided that the Iran angle is the most significant element of the latest WikiLeaks package. Among the elements the newspaper highlights is a report that the US hikers arrested by Iran in July 2009 may have been taken on the Iraq side of the border.
A Turkish businessman who deals extensively in Iran told us that the only way to do business there safely is through an Iranian partner with high-level regime connections, in his case a partner he claims is connected to the son of Supreme Leader Khamenei