US embassy cable - 02AMMAN2907

DEMARCHE: IRANIAN AIRCRAFT

Identifier: 02AMMAN2907
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN2907 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-06-03 15:52:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Tags: PREL PTER IR IS LE SA SY
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T AMMAN 002907 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2012 
TAGS: PREL, PTER, IR, IS, LE, SA, SY 
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: IRANIAN AIRCRAFT 
 
REF: A. STATE 104864 
     B. AMMAN 2693 
 
Classified By: AMBASSDADOR EDWARD W. GNEHM; REASONS, 1.5 (B),(C), AND ( 
D) 
 
1.  (S) THE DCM MADE THE POINTS IN REF A ON JUNE 2 TO ALI 
AL-AYED, THE PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO FOREIGN MINISTER MUASHER. 
AFTER REVIEWING THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AMBASSADOR'S DEMARCHE TO 
THE MINISTER ON MAY 27 (REF B), THE DCM EXPRESSED OUR DEEP 
CONCERN THAT THE IRANIAN PLANE HAD BEEN ALLOWED TO OVERFLY 
JORDAN. 
 
2.  (S) POINTING OUT THAT THE JORDANIAN AUTHORITIES HAD 
INTERCEPTED ARMS TRANSITING JORDAN IN RECENT MONTHS, THE DCM 
ARGUED THAT IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR JORDAN TO BLOCK THE ARMS 
FROM REACHING TERRORIST GROUPS IN THE FIRST PLACE THAN TO 
LEAVE THE JOB ENTIRELY TO THE SECURITY SERVICES, HOWEVER 
SUCCESSFUL THEY MAY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST.  HE SAID THE U.S. 
IS REVIEWING ITS PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING THIS ISSUE, AND 
URGED THAT THE JORDANIANS UNDERTAKE A PARALLEL REVIEW. 
 
3.  (S) AL-AYED POINTED OUT THAT JORDAN HAD BEEN IN THE 
FOREFRONT IN SUPPORTING THE WAR ON TERRORISM.  JORDAN WOULD 
NOT BE DETERRED FROM COUNTERTERRORIST EFFORTS BY ANY FRICTION 
WITH IRAN -- "WE DON'T CARE WHAT THEY THINK."  HOWEVER, 
AL-AYED WENT ON TO SAY: 
 
-- THE IRANIAN AIRCRAFT WAS IN JORDANIAN AIRSPACE FOR ONLY A 
FEW MINUTES.  IT OVERFLEW SAUDI ARABIA FOR A MUCH LONGER TIME 
BEFORE REACHING JORDAN.  THE SAUDIS WERE THEREFORE BETTER 
PLACED TO BLOCK THE FLIGHT THAN THE JORDANIANS.  (THE DCM 
MENTIONED THAT WE HAD APPROACHED THE SAUDIS, AND SAID THAT TO 
BE EFFECTIVE THE EFFORT NEEDED TO BE COOPERATIVE, INVOLVING 
ALL OUR FRIENDS IN THE REGION.) 
 
-- OUR ALERT GAVE THE JORDANIANS VERY LITTLE TIME TO REACT. 
(THE DCM AGREED THAT OUR CALL ON MAY 29 -- AFTER THE PLANE 
WAS WELL ON ITS WAY -- CAME FAIRLY LATE, BUT ARGUED THAT THE 
JORDANIANS MIGHT HAVE RECOGNIZED THE PROFILE OF THE IRANIAN 
AIRCRAFT FROM OUR EARLIER DEMARCHE AND DENIED CLEARANCE OR 
CONSULTED WITH US.) 
 
4.  (S) AL-AYED SAID HE WOULD TALK THROUGH OUR DEMARCHE WITH 
THE MINISTER AND OTHERS AS APPROPRIATE.  HE PROMISED A QUICK 
POLICY RESPONSE.  THE DCM REPEATED THAT WE WOULD WELCOME 
SUGGESTIONS FOR MORE EFFECTIVE PROCEDURES, AND STRESSED THE 
IMPORTANCE THAT WASHINGTON ATTACHES TO THE ISSUE. 
 
COMMENT 
 
5.  (S/NF) AL-AYED HAS MENTIONED IN THE PAST THAT MOST OF OUR 
ALERTS ON IRANIAN FLIGHTS TURN OUT TO BE FALSE ALARMS.  THE 
JORDANIANS MAY WELL FEAR THAT OUR INFORMATION IS AMBIGUOUS, 
AND THAT BY DENYING FLIGHT CLEARANCE THEY COULD BE INVOLVING 
THEMSELVES IN AN EMBARRASSING POLITICAL SITUATION.  WE 
RECOMMEND THAT WASHINGTON SHARE RELEVANT INFORMATION WITH THE 
JORDANIANS (ORCA CONCURS).  ON THE POLITICAL SIDE, THE 
JORDANIANS WOULD CLEARLY BE MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE DENYING 
OVERFLIGHT CLEARANCES IF THE SAUDIS TOOK SIMILAR ACTION. 
 
 
 
 
 
Gnehm 

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