US embassy cable - 89BAGHDAD3048

SOVIET ARMS SALES TO IRAN

Identifier: 89BAGHDAD3048
Wikileaks: View 89BAGHDAD3048 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 1989-06-05 11:11:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PARM PREL UR IR IZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 051111Z JUN 89
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0490
AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY
GULFWAR COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T BAGHDAD 03048 
 
E.O. 12356:DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PARM PREL UR, IR IZ 
SUBJ:  SOVIET ARMS SALES TO IRAN 
 
REF:  STATE 176500 
 
1.  (S-ENTIRE TEXT) 
 
2.  AMBASSADOR CALLED ON MFA UNDERSECRETARY HAMDUN 
ON JUNE 5 TO RESUME DIALOGUE ON THE PROBLEM OF 
SOVIET ARMS SALES TO IRAN.  POINTING OUT THAT 
REFTEL HAD BEEN DRAFTED PRIOR TO THE NEWS OF 
KHOMEINI'S DEATH, AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT WHATEVER 
GOVERNMENTAL ARRANGEMENTS MAY EMERGE IN TEHRAN, 
FOR THE MOMENT  WE HAVE A RAFSANJANI VISIT SCHEDULED 
FOR MOSCOW JUNE  21.  WE ARE URGING GULF CAPITALS 
TO FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO REGISTER WITH THE SOVIETS 
CLEARLY THAT THERE WILL BE STRONG NEGATIVE ARAB 
REACTION TO RESUMPTION OF ARMS DELIVERIES TO IRAN. 
 
3.  AMBASSADOR THEN WENT THROUGH TICKS IN PARA FOUR 
REFTEL, REITERATING THAT WE WERE GRATEFUL FOR THE 
IRAQIS CONTINUING TO SHARE WITH US THEIR THOUGHTS 
AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THIS ISSUE OF GRAVE MUTUAL 
CONCERN TO BOTH OF OUR GOVERNMENTS. 
 
4.  HAMDUN RESPONDED THAT HE DID HAVE SOMETHING TO 
REPORT.  FOR THE FIRST TIME  THE SOVIETS HAVE 
ADMITTED TO THE GOI THAT THEY DO INTEND TO SELLARMS, 
THOUGH REFUSING TO GIVE ANY SPECIFICS.  THEY CLAIM 
THEY WOULD NOT GIVE IRAN    EVERYTHING IT ASKED FOR 
AND THAT THE ARMS PACKAGE WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH TO TIP 
THE REGIONAL BALANCE.  THE SOVIETS' JUSTIFICATION 
TO THE IRAQIS WAS SIMPLE -- IF MOSCOW DOES NOT SELL 
THE ARMS THE WEST WILL. 
 
5.  FOR ITS PART, HAMDUN SAID, IRAQ CONTINUES TO 
MAKE ITS POSITION CLEAR TO THE SOVIETS, AND HAS 
ASKED KUWAIT, YAR, JORDAN, AND EGYPT, 
TO DO SO AS WELL.  WITH REGARD TO THE GULF, 
HOWEVER, HAMDUN EMPHASIZED, THE SOVIETS ARE 
PROBABLY PLAYING ON A SECOND TRACK.  IRAQ BELIEVES 
MOSCOW IS TRYING TO SET UP AN "AXIS" TO INCLUDE 
THE KABUL REGIME, IRAN, AND THE IRANIAN BASED 
MUJAHIDIN: I.E. THEY ARE SEEKING ANY 
JUSTIFICATION FOR ARMS SALES TO TEHRAN WHICH WILL 
AT THE SAME TIME HELP THEIR POSITION IN 
AFGHANISTAN.  EVIDENCE FOR THIS HYPOTHESIS 
HAD COME FROM REPORTED REMARKS BY THE SOVIET 
AMBASSADOR TO THE UAE. 
 
6.  ACTION RECOMMENDED:  AMBASSADOR ASKED WHAT 
HAMDUN RECOMMENDED BOTH OUR GOVERNMENTS COULD 
OR SHOULD DO NEXT.  HE SUGGESTED WE BOTH MAKE AN 
APPROACH NOW, ALONG THE LINES OF REFTEL, TO THE 
EGYPTIANS.  AMBASSADOR AGREED THAT THIS WAS A 
SENSIBLE COURSE OF ACTION AND SAID SHE   WOULD 
CONVEY THIS PROPOSAL IMMEDIATELY TO THE DEPARTMENT. 
 
 
GLASPIE 

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