Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal demanded on Sunday that WikiLeaks be “vigorously punished” and said that it was incumbent on the US “to not just be extra vigilant but to try to restore the credibility and the legitimacy of their engagement with the rest of us, and ensure that there are no more leaks to be faced in the future,” Reuters reported.
Leaked cables claim that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of financial support for terrorism; that the Iraqi government sees a greater threat to the country’s stability coming from Saudi Arabia than Iran; and that the Saudis appeared to want ‘another Musharraf‘ to take over Pakistan — no wonder the Saudis want to see WikiLeaks punished.
The Los Angeles Times now reports:
At Saudi Arabia’s urging, Morocco broke ties with Iran and began a domestic campaign against Moroccan Shiites in exchange for economic trade-offs, an Egyptian diplomat told sources at the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable published by the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.
“[The diplomat] said goading Iran, a country with which it had limited economic interests, and demonizing the Shi’a, a powerless minority group, was a small price for Morocco to pay for a strategy that could have major payoffs,” the April 2009 cable read.
In exchange for active Moroccan support, Saudi Arabia allegedly promised to ensure the flow of subsidized oil and compensate for the loss in direct foreign investment in Morocco resulting from the global financial crisis.
The diplomat, whose name had been redacted from the cable, also said that the domestic campaign against Shiites was intended to neutralize opposition groups in the municipal elections and reassert King Mohammed VI’s authority as a religious leader.
Morocco broke ties with Iran in March 2009, accusing Tehran of using its embassy in Rabat as a base for spreading Shiite Islam. The formal break in relations was followed by a crackdown on Morocco’s tiny Shiite minority, which resulted in the closure of religious schools and the arrest of hundreds of people.