US embassy cable - 88BAGHDAD4620

"THE GREAT SATAN NO LONGER A SATAN"

Identifier: 88BAGHDAD4620
Wikileaks: View 88BAGHDAD4620 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 1988-08-24 13:12:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL IZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 241312Z AUG 88
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7976
GULFWAR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMEMBASSY PARIS
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 04620 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PREL, IZ 
SUBJECT: "THE GREAT SATAN NO LONGER A SATAN" 
 
1. CONFIDENTIAL ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2. SUMMARY: IRAQ HAS CONTINUED TO WARN AGAINST 
COUNTRIES WHICH WOULD TRY TO "DEPRIVE IRAQ OF ITS 
VICTORY" AND REGAIN THEIR LOST INPLUENCE IN IRAN. 
REFLECTING IRAQI FEARS OF A U.S.-IRANIAN RAPPROCHE- 
MENT, THE WARNINGS QUOTE FOREIGN PRESS REPORTS 
THAT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN TEHRAN IS BEING REFURBISHED 
AND NOTE THAT "NO ONE IN TEHRAN CURSES THE ARCH 
SATAN ANY LONGER."  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  IRAQI MEDIA AUGUST 22, GAVE PROMINENT COVERAGE 
TO REPORTS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE MADRID 
NEWSPAPER EL PAIS AND THE PARIS WEEKLY EXPRESS, 
THAT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY BUILDINGS IN TEHRAN ARE 
BEING REFURBISHED.  EXPRESS IS QUOTED THAT THE 
IRANIAN REGIME INTENDS TO VINDICATE THE "GREAT 
SATAN," WHILE EL PAIS IS REPORTEDLY MORE EXPLICIT, 
DECLARING THAT IRAN IS MOVING QUICKLY TO REESTAB- 
LISH RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.  EL PAIS'S 
TEHRAN CORRESPONDENT REPORTS THAT PREPARATIONS WERE 
UNDERWAY AT THE U.S. EMBASSY TO REINSTATE NORMAL 
ACTIVITIES. 
 
4. ALSO ON AUGUST 22, THE MAIN EDITORIAL IN BOTH THE 
BA'TH PARTY AND GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPERS (THAWRA AND 
JUMHURIYA) WARNED THAT UNNAMED POWERS ARE "MANEUVERING 
TO DEPRIVE IRAQ OF ITS VICTORY."  THESE POWERS ARE 
ACCUSED OF TRYING TO INFLUENCE THE UPCOMING NEGOTIA- 
TIONS TO REGAIN THEIR LOST INFLUENCE IN IRAN.  A 
SIMILAR EDITORIAL IN THAWRA ON AUGUST 21 CLAIMED 
THAT "NO ONE IN THE CAPITALS OF THESE STATES ANY 
LONGER CONDEMNS IRANIAN STATE TERRORISM OR IRANIAN 
EXTORTION THROUGH HOLDING HOSTAGES.  AT THE SAME 
TIME, NO ONE IN TEHRAN CURSES OR REMEMBERS THE ARCH 
SATAN ANY LONGER" (FBIS JN2108072288). 
 
5. COMMENT: THE IRAQIS' FEAR OF U.S.-IRAN RAPPROACHE- 
MENT HAS BEEN REFLECTED MORE PROMINENTLY IN THE PAST 
WEEK'S MEDIA THAN PREVIOUSLY.  WE WOULD ASSUME SADDAM 
GAVE A SIGNAL OF CONCERN TO HIS INFORMATION MINISTER 
JASIM, WHO HAS ALWAYS BEEN READY TO ABUSE THE UNITED 
STATES.  WHAT IS NOT CLEAR TO US IS WHAT THE U.S. 
HAS DONE, SINCE THE TALABANI AFFAIR AT LEAST, THAT 
WOULD HAVE SPURRED THIS CONCERN. 
 
 
GLASPIE 

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