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Iran Features Heavily in the Latest WikiLeaks From Saudi Arabia

Written by Mahsa Alimardani

Iran and Saudi Arabia have long challenged each other for geopolitical influence in the region, most recently during the 'proxy war' in Yemen. Wikimedia image.

The new trove of WikiLeaks covering documents from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs speak to a preoccupation with their regional rival Iran.

So far, 23 documents from the cache are daily briefs from the ministry on Iran.

Social media users have also noted the focus on Iran in the cables. Of the 60,000 documents leaked so far, around 1,500 reference Iran or Iranian in English and Arabic. As more analysis of the documents emerge, the Foreign Ministry’s specific concerns in relation to Iran become apparent.

Some Saudi Arabian social media users have claimed the leaks as an Iranian hack; however, others have been quick to pour cold water on these claims.

Source: Global Voices - Citizen media stories from around the world

Opposition to a Deal – The Gulf / Israel / Congress

Robin Wright and Garrett Nada

            The new diplomacy between Iran and the world’s six major powers faces growing opposition from key players in the Middle East, including the oil-rich and influential Gulf states. The Sunni sheikhdoms are nervous the Shiite theocracy will do a deal on its nuclear program that leaves Tehran with a residual capability to eventually build a bomb, either by retaining basic knowledge of a weapons program or controlling the pivotal fuel production for a weapon.
            More broadly, however, Saudi Arabia and the smaller monarchies fear that a diplomatic deal will allow rival Iran to shed its pariah status and reemerge as the Gulf powerhouse—to their disadvantage. Iran’s split with the West after the 1979 revolution had increased the influence of Saudi Arabia particularly as an alternative pillar of U.S. policy. A deal on Iran’s nuclear program could in turn lead to rapprochement with Washington that would diminish Gulf leverage.
            Tensions between Iran and its Gulf neighbors have not eased despite new President Hassan Rouhani’s call for improving relations between Tehran and Riyadh. “We are not only neighbors, we are brothers,” he said shortly after his election in June. “We have had very close relations, culturally, historically and regionally.” He emphasized this point in a tweet following his October 15 call with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani.
            But suspicions remain deep. After the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers met this fall, Prince Saud al Faisal was openly skeptical. “What we want now is to see that desire materialize on the ground,” he said. “They preach what they do not practice, and practice what they do not say.” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran News Round Up (6 JUNE 2013)

Qalibaf emphasizes Iran-Iraq War credentials to defend his image; Velayati publishes detailed cyber space platform; Iranian Telecommunications Company denies responsibility for reported internet disruptions
Politics

  • Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf heavily criticized opponents who label him as a technocrat and said, “I do not have the time to answer some people’s claims, but I believe that a person is a technocrat [if they have] not seen the color of the front [during the Iran-Iraq war].”
  • Presidential candidate Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said, “Their eight year militarily imposed war [Iran-Iraq war] did not achieve any results; therefore, it is possible that they have planned an eight-year imposed economic war. Our path is that just as the nation resisted in the Imposed War, economic resistance will maintain the country in the economically imposed war. We have no other way except this [path].” Haddad Adel also revealed that his cyber space platform is to follow the strategic directives of the Supreme Cyber Space Council.
  • Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai said he would alleviate international concerns regarding the nuclear program but would not abandon “national interests and the values of the revolution.” He added that he would form a 5+3 international group to politically resolve the Syrian crisis. The group would consist of Syrian neighbors Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon, in addition to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
  • Ali Akbar Velayati’s Cyber Space Committee Headquarters published the candidate’s platform regarding cyber space. The three main points are: “An opportunistic perspective instead of a threatened [perspective] towards cyber space; Ethics and partial immunity instead of limitation in cyber space, and; alignment with the Supreme Leader’s policies in establishing the Supreme Cyber Space Council.” His proposed policies also include establishing security operation centers in all sensitive parts of the country and supporting the indigenous development and construction of internet infrastructures.
  • According to Kurdistan Press Agency, two Ahl-e Haq religious minority Kurds, Hassan Razavi and Nikmard Taheri, self-immolated to protest Islamic Republic security forces arrest and abuse of coreligionist Kiumars Tamnak and his religious beliefs during an interrogation.
  • Alef News Agency reports that the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance sent an approximately 120 member group to Lebanon two weeks ago without any official announcements. The article questions the reasons and the financier of the trip, since the minister is reportedly known to be frugal regarding international travel and the ministry has recently had to cancel cultural events due to budget constraints. The group reportedly consisted of artists, poets and cultural officials, and the article notes that it used a conservative estimation based on oral reports so the group may have included as many as 200 individuals. The author attributed the trip to potential government abuse and waste. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
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