Monday, November 29, 2010

Wiki [15]: "Good time to make 'changes' in Lebanon ..."

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 001349
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019
Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey per 1.4 (b) and (d).
(S/NF) Soliman anticipated that Hezbollah's recent defeat in the Lebanese parliamentary elections would force the group
to "remain quiet for sometime" as they rebuild domestic
support and counter the perception that Hezbollah is a "tool of outsiders." With Iran itself focusing on domestic issues, he continued, it was a "good time to make changes" in Lebanon
and reduce Iran's influence. Egypt will support a Saad
Hariri government and the Lebanese army, Soliman emphasized.
6. (S/NF) Soliman said that Iran heeded Egypt's warning against meddling in domestic affairs (ref B) and supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. He received a "very positive message" from Iran's intelligence chief indicating that Iran would not interfere in Egypt. Egypt planned to
"remain quiet inside Iran" for the time being, but would
continue to recruit agents who "will do what we ask," if Iran
insists on interfering in Egypt. "We hope Iran will stop supporting Hamas,the Muslim Brotherhood and other cells" within Egypt Soliman said, "but if not - we are ready." Soliman said Iranian President Ahmadinejad wanted to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Egypt July 11-16. If he did attend, President Mubarak would meet with him and clearly explain that Iranian interference in "Arab issues" was unacceptable. "We are ready for good relations with Iran," Soliman noted, but only if Iran ceased interfering and supporting terrorists in the region.
7. (S/NF) Because of domestic problems, Soliman believed that
Iran would seek better relations with the Arab world and
suspend its nuclear program for a period of time to avoid a
"war." He also anticipated Iran would try to strike more of
a "balance" between supporting its Hezbollah and Hamas
"tools" and trying to build better relations with the Arabs.
Soliman expressed concern that Iranian influence in Iraq would spread after the re-deployment of U.S. troops out of Iraqi cities and the eventual drawdown. General Petraeus noted that 130,000 U.S. troops remain and that the drawdown would be gradual. He expressed confidence that Iranian
influence could be contained if Arab countries moved
aggressively to support Iraq. ....
13. (U) General Petraeus cleared this cable. SCOBEY

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