US embassy cable - 86STATE227611

IRAN/IRAQ WAR: SITUATION IN TEHRAN

Identifier: 86STATE227611
Wikileaks: View 86STATE227611 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1986-07-21 16:52:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: IR IZ PK
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O R 211652Z JUL 86
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE
INFO GULF WAR COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T  STATE 227611 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS:        IR, IZ, PK 
SUBJECT:     IRAN/IRAQ WAR: SITUATION IN TEHRAN 
 
REF:  ISLAMABAD 15582 
 
1.  SECRET - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  DEPARTMENT APPRECIATES VERY MUCH MFA ADDITIONAL 
SECRETARY KHAN'S READOUT OF HIS RECENT VISIT TO TEHRAN 
(REFTEL).  WE AGREE WITH HIS GENERAL ASSESSMENT THAT 
THERE ARE NO SIGNS THAT THE IRANIAN SIDE IS READY TO MOVE 
TOWARD MEDIATION/NEGOTIATIONS ON THE WAR.  WE ALSO 
BELIEVE THAT HE IS CORRECT THAT A MAJOR IRANIAN OFFENSIVE 
SHOULD BE EXPECTED WITHIN THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, IF IT 
CAN BE MANAGED LOGISTICALLY.  WE WERE STRUCK, HOWEVER, 
AND VERY INTERESTED, IN HIS COMMENTS REGARDING IRANIAN 
MORALE AND DECREASING SUPPORT FOR THE REVOLUTION WHICH HE 
OBSERVED, BOTH IN TEHRAN AND THE COUNTRYSIDE.  HIS 
OBSERVATION ON THE MODERATE GROUP AMONG THE CLERGY WAS 
ALSO OF GREAT INTEREST TO US.  ON DOMESTIC IRANIAN ISSUES 
AS WELL AS ON MATTERS OF SHIA THEOLOGY AND THE 
INTERRELATIONSHIP OF THE CLERGY AND THE GOVERNMENT, SUCH 
A GROUP HAS BEEN IDENTIFIABLE FOR SOME TIME.  WE HAVE NOT 
SEEN, HOWEVER, RECENT EVIDENCE THAT ITS DIFFERENCES WITH 
THE DOMINANT, MORE RADICAL GROUP EXTENDED TO OPPOSITION 
TO THE CONTINUATION OF THE WAR. 
 
3.  WITH THAT AS BACKGROUND, WE WOULD APPRECIATE EMBASSY 
FOLLOWING UP WITH KHAN, FOCUSSING ON THE FOLLOWING 
QUESTIONS: 
 
   -THE CHANGED ATMOSPHERE IN TEHRAN: ON WHAT DOES HE 
HINGE HIS JUDGMENT THAT THE MOOD TOWARD THE REVOLUTION OR 
THE WAR HAS CHANGED?  SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE HIS GROUNDS 
TO BELIEVE THAT THE FRUSTRATIONS NOTED REFTEL EXTEND TO 
LOWER CLASS SUPPORTERS OF THE REGIME AND ARE THUS NOT 
JUST A MIDDLE CLASS PHENOMENON?  DO THE PAKISTANIS 
BELIEVE THEY HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF POLITICAL TRENDS IN 
SOUTH TEHRAN, FOR EXAMPLE? (SOUTH TEHRAN IS THE LOWER 
CLASS RESIDENTIAL AREA OF THE CAPITAL, WHERE MANY OF THE 
RECENT MIGRANTS FROM THE COUNTRY LIVE). 
 
   --ON WHAT BASIS DOES HE JUDGE THAT THE MOOD "IN THE 
COUNTRYSIDE" HAS CHANGED ALONG THE LINES OF THE MOOD IN 
TEHRAN?  HOW DOES HE MEASURE/ASSESS THAT MOOD? 
 
   --THE COMPOSITION OF THE MODERATE CLERICAL GROUP 
INTERESTS US.  WHO ARE ITS LEADERS?  PROMINENT 
SUPPORTERS?  HOW DOES KHAN KNOW THEIR VIEWS ON THE WAR 
(AS OPPOSED TO DOMESTIC ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL QUESTIONS 
WHICH ARE SUBJECTS OF OPEN DEBATE)?  DOES HE HAVE THE 
SENSE THAT THIS GROUP IS GROWING IN IMPORTANCE?  AND, 
ABOVE ALL, DOES HE HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE 
SUBJECT OF THE IRANIAN VIEW OF THE WAR IS A MATTER OF 
POTENTIAL DEBATE OR CONCEIVABLE CHANGE OF POLICY WHILE 
AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI REMAINS IN ACTIVE CONTROL OF THE 
REGIME?  IS THERE ANY INDICATION THAT A MIDDLE GROUND 
MIGHT DEVELOP (OR EXISTS) WHEREBY IRAN WOULD ACCEPT AN 
END TO THE WAR AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM 
POWER, BUT NOT THE ELIMINATION OF BAATH PARTY CONTROL OF 
THE STATE? 
 
 
SHULTZ 

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