As the Wikileaks cables continue to be published ... Below is a selection of recently disclosed cables and what they reveal.
- Saudi plan for ‘Arab force’ to confront Iran in Lebanon
- Lebanon blasts Iranian interference
- Syria refused war against Israel in event of Israeli attack on Iran
A cable released by Wikileaks and reported in today’s Guardian shows Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia proposing an ‘Arab force’ which would destroy Hezbollah.
At a meeting between US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal in 2008, the document records that the latter:
‘brought up events taking place in Beirut and emphasized the need for a “security response” to Hizballah,s “military challenge to the Government of Lebanon.” Specifically, Saud argued for an “Arab force” to create and maintain order in and around Beirut’.The cable also quoted the Saudi foreign minister calling for ‘naval and air cover’ from the US and NATO....the story shows the level of anxiety felt by Saudi Arabia at what it perceived as a process leading to an “Iranian takeover of all Lebanon.” Saud elaborated on the threat, saying:
‘Such a victory, combined with Iranian actions in Iraq and on the Palestinian front, would be a disaster for the US and the entire region.’Prince Saud also detailed other “regional fronts” on which Iran was advancing, describing this as a ‘disaster’:
‘Of all the regional fronts on which Iran was now advancing, the battle in Lebanon to secure peace would be an “easier battle to win” (than Iraq or on the Palestinian front).’
Also of note is the statement from Prince Saud in which he claimed that UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), which is entrusted to ‘restore international peace and security [and] assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area,’ was ‘sitting doing nothing.’
Lebanon blasts Iranian interference
Another leaked cable published in Haaretz on Monday quotes the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunication Marwan Hamadeh saying in 2008 that ‘Iran Telecom is taking over the country!’ Hamadeh was referring to
‘the complete fiber optic system that Hezbollah had established throughout Lebanon’ which he claimed receives funding from Iran and signals ‘a strategic victory for Iran, since it creates an important Iranian outpost in Lebanon, bypassing Syria.’
The cable then goes on to state the value of such a network to Hezbollah:Syria refused war against Israel in event of Israeli attack on Iran
‘The value for Hizballah is the final step in creating a nation state. Hizballah now has an army and weapons; a television station; an education system; hospitals; social services; a financial system; and a telecommunications system’.
The Israeli daily Yediot today reports that:
‘Syria refused to fight on Iran’s side in case of a military stand-off between Tehran and Israel following an attack on its nuclear facilities.’The Syrians also told Iran not to expect Hamas or Hezbollah to get involved in the war...