WikiLeaks: ‘Syria would drop Iran for peace with Israel’

December 20, 2010

I see this as backroom lies.  Assad doesn’t want Iran to know he is reaching his hand out… and at the same time he gives friendly signals to people like Pelosi

IDF intelligence official Baidatz: Assad would be willing to pull away from Teheran’s orbit, according to State Dept. cable last year.

via jpost.com

also one could see that Assad was reacting to a few other factors.  Hariri’s murder?  perhaps they were attempting to isolate themselves from responsibility.  

During the meeting, Baidatz said that according to Israeli intelligence assessments, if Syria were able to achieve peace with “security” and obtain greater US involvement, it would be willing to pull away from Iran’s orbit.

According to the US cable, Baidatz said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad were forced to choose between peace with Israel and Iran and his “negative assets” – Hamas and Hizbullah – he would choose peace. Such a peace, Baidatz said, would be detrimental for Hizbullah, which relies heavily on Syrian support.

“It would be a gradual process before Hizbullah could completely wean itself from the Syrian support apparatus and that, ultimately, both Hizbullah’s and Iran’s flexibility would be significantly reduced,” Baidatz said, according to the cable.

In the cable from 2009, Baidatz briefed Vershbow on Iran’s nuclear program and said the Islamic Republic was one year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon and two-and-a-half years away from assembling a nuclear arsenal of three weapons. By 2012, Iran would be able to build one weapon within weeks and an arsenal within six months.

The cable, which was approved by Vershbow, included a comment next to Baidatz’s remarks: “It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States.”

Turning to Hizbullah, the Israeli officials warned Vershbow that the Shi’ite guerrilla group was working hand-in-hand with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

“The level of cooperation far exceeds what many assume is simply the day-to-day problem of corruption within the ranks,” the cable summarized the Israeli side as saying.

“On the contrary, Israel believes that LAF/Hizbullah cooperation is a matter of national policy – any information shared with the United Nations Interim Force-Lebanon (UNIFIL) goes directly to Hizbullah by way of the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

The meeting took place in the days before Syria transferred a cache of M600 long-range and accurate surface- to-surface missiles to Hizbullah.

Baidatz told Vershbow that Israel knew about the missile cache in Syria and believed that it was destined for Hizbullah.

“Under such a scenario, the looming question for Israeli policy-makers then becomes: ‘To strike or not to strike?’” Baidatz was paraphrased as saying.

In the end, Israel did not attack the arms convoys to Lebanon, and Hizbullah is believed today to have hundreds of M600s, which have a range of 250 km. and can carry a half-ton warhead.