US embassy cable - 86ISLAMABAD15762

IRAN/IRAQ WAR; SITUATION IN TEHRAN

Identifier: 86ISLAMABAD15762
Wikileaks: View 86ISLAMABAD15762 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Islamabad
Created: 1986-07-22 11:22:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: IR IZ PK
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 221122Z JUL 86
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5222
INFO GULF WAR COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 15762 
 
 
E. O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  IR IZ PK 
SUBJECT:  IRAN/IRAQ WAR;  SITUATION IN TEHRAN 
 
REF:  (A) STATE 227611 (B) ISLAMABAD 15582 
 
1.  SECRET - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  IN FURTHER DISCUSSION JULY 22, ADDITIONAL SECRETARY 
FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SHAHARYAR KHAN WAS WILLING 
TO EXPAND ON HIS INITIAL BRIEFING AND TO PROVIDE ANSWERS 
TO A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS RAISED IN REF A.  SHAHARYAR MADE 
CLEAR THAT HIS COMMENTS WERE BASED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON 
CONVERSATIONS HE HAD HAD WITH PAKISTANI EMBASSY OFFICIALS, 
BUSINESSMEN AND MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES LIVING IN TEHRAN. 
HE HIMSELF HAD BEEN THERE FOR ONLY FIVE DAYS AND HAD 
MOVED AROUND THE CITY VERY LITTLE BUT, IN GENERAL WHAT HE 
HAD SEEN SEEMED TO BEAR OUT WHAT HE HAD BEEN TOLD.  HE 
ADDED THAT THE PRIVATE PAKISTANI COMMUNITY IN TEHRAN IS 
LARGE, HAS PRETTY GOOD ACCESS, AND HAS BEEN IN PLACE FOR 
A LONG TIME. 
 
3.  SHAHARYAR STATED THAT HIS INITIAL COMMENTS ON THE 
GROWING DISENCHANTMENT OF THE POPULATION WERE MEANT TO 
ENCOMPASS THE LOWER CLASSES.  TO HIM, THERE WOULD BE 
NOTHING NEW ABOUT DISAFFECTION AMONG THE BOURGEOIS 
ELEMENT; WHAT IS NEW IS THAT THE LOWER CLASSES, BOTH IN 
TEHRAN AND THE COUNTRYSIDE ARE INVOLVED.  WHEN I ASKED HIM 
WHY THIS WAS OCCURRING, HE POINTED TO THE CONSCRIPTION OF 
12-13 YEAR OLDS AS THE MAJOR FACTOR, WITH PARENTS NOT 
BEING WILLING TO ACCEPT THE NECESSITY OF SUCH A MOVE. 
 
4.  HE HIMSELF HAD NOT BEEN OUTSIDE TEHRAN ON THIS TRIP. 
HOWEVER, PAKISTAN EMBASSY OFFICIALS AND PRIVATE CITIZENS 
CAN MOVE ABOUT THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH FEWER RESTRICTIONS 
THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER FOREIGNERS.  (AS EVIDENCE, HE 
RECOUNTED AN ANECDOTE IN WHICH THE PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR 
WAS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE ON TO HIS SKIING DESTINATION AFTER 
HIS SCANDINAVIAN COLLEAGUES HAD BEEN TURNED BACK AT A LOCA 
CHECKPOINT.)  THESE PAKISTANI SOURCES ARE IN AGREEMENT, 
HE SAID, THAT THE ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE INCREASINGLY DIS- 
ENCHANTED WITH THE WAR. 
 
5.  ACCORDING TO SHAHARYAR, THE "MODERATE" CLERICAL GROUP 
IS LED BY RAFSANJANI, PRESIDENT KHAMENEI AND FOREIGN 
MINISTER VELAYATI.  HE DOUBTED THAT THEY HAD CONVEYED THEI 
VIEWS ON THE WAR DIRECTLY TO ANY PAKISTANI OFFICIALS BUT 
SAID THAT IT WAS RELATIVELY COMMON FOR IRANIAN THIRD 
PARTIES TO CHARACTERIZE THEIR VIEWS TO THE PAKISTAN 
EMBASSY.  HE DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THESE LEADERS HAD YET 
OPENLY DEBATED ANY DIFFERENCES OF VIEW ON THE WAR WITH 
THE AYATOLLAH KHOMENEI NOR DID HE THINK THAT KHOMENEI WAS 
LIKELY TO BE PERSUADED BY SUCH A DEBATE.  AS TO ANY 
"MIDDLE GROUND," IN SHAHARYAR'S VIEW NO ONE IN IRAN, 
INCLUDING KHOMENEI, WOULD SERIOUSLY HOLD OUT FOR THE 
ELIMINATION OF THE BAATH PARTY AS A PRECONDITION FOR ENDIN 
THE WAR EVEN THOUGH THIS HAS BEEN A PUBLIC IRANIAN DEMAND. 
HE RESTATED THAT WHAT THE MODERATES ARE LOOKING AT IS A 
SOLUTION WHICH WOULD NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRE THE DEPARTURE 
OF SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM POWER. 
 
6.  SHAHARYAR WAS RELUCTANT TO MAKE ANY ESTIMATE AS TO 
WHETHER ONE GROUP OR ANOTHER AMONG THE CLERGY IS MOVING 
INTO THE ASCENDANT OR ABOUT THE POSSIBLE TIME BEYOND WHICH 
THE PRESENT SITUATION WOULD NOT ENDURE.  HE DID SAY THAT 
HIS OFFICIAL AND NON-OFFICIAL PAKISTANI CONTACTS GENERALLY 
THOUGHT THAT ONE YEAR WAS ABOUT AS LONG AS THE PRESENT 
SITUATION COULD CONTINUE WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT DOING 
SOMETHING TO RELIEVE THE GENERAL DISCONTENT BUT QUICKLY 
ADDED THAT HE HAD HEARD TOO MANY PREDICTIONS ABOUT IRAN 
IN THE PAST FOR HIM TO GIVE THEM MUCH CREDENCE. 
 
7.  SHAHARYAR SAID THAT FOREIGN MINISTER VELAYATI IS 
ANXIOUS TO VISIT ISLAMABAD PRIOR TO THE NAM MEETING IN 
HARARE AND THAT DATES IN THE SECOND OR THIRD WEEK OF 
AUGUST HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED (BUT NOT YET NAILED DOWN). 
ACCORDING TO HIM, THE GOI IS CONCERNED THAT IRAQ MAY BE 
HAVING SOME SUCCESS IN NAM CIRCLES ON A RESOLUTION THAT 
IRAN WOULD FIND ONESIDED AND IS ANXIOUS TO CONSULT WITH 
THE GOP ON THIS ISSUE.  SHAHARYAR EXPRESSED WILLINGNESS 
TO PASS ON ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT IRAN IN THE 
FUTURE. 
 
 
MCCARTHY 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04