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WikiLeaks viewing Cable 08BEIRUT523

WikiLeaks viewing Cable 08BEIRUT523

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Published by: Ljiljana Tatic on Dec 07, 2010
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12/07/2010

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Viewingcable08BEIRUT523,LEBANON:HIZBALLAHGOESFIBEROPTIC
Ifyouarenewtothesepages,pleasereadanintroductiononthestructureofacableaswellashowtodiscussthemwithothers. SeealsotheFAQs
ReferenceIDCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin08BEIRUT5232008-04-1616:042010-12-0521:09SECRET//NOFORNEmbassyBeirut 
VZCZCXRO9896PPRUEHAGRUEHBCRUEHDERUEHKUKRUEHROVDERUEHLB#0523/011071642ZNYSSSSSZZHP161642ZAPR08FMAMEMBASSYBEIRUTTORUEHC/SECSTATEWASHDCPRIORITY1544INFORUEHEE/ARABLEAGUECOLLECTIVERUCNMEM/EUMEMBERSTATESCOLLECTIVERUEHNO/USMISSIONUSNATO2418RHMFISS/CDRUSCENTCOMMACDILLAFBFLRHEHNSC/NSCWASHDCSECRETSECTION01OF04BEIRUT000523SIPDISNOFORNSIPDISNSCFORABRAMS/SINGH/YERGER,STATEFORNEA/ELA,EO12958DECL:04/16/2018TAGSPTER,ECPS,PINR,LE,IR,SYSUBJECT:LEBANON:HIZBALLAHGOESFIBEROPTICREF:BEIRUT490ClassifiedBy:Charged’AffairesMicheleSisonforreasons1.4(b)and(d)SUMMARY
 
1.(S)RequestingaspecialmeetingwithCharge,TelecommunicationsMinisterMarwanHamadehdecriedtheestablishmentofacompletefiberopticsnetworkbyHizballahthroughoutLebanon.TheGOLhasbeensharingthisinformationwidelyamongfriendsofLebanon,toincludethegovernmentsofFrance,SaudiArabia,Jordan,andtheUAE.HamadehseesonlytwochoicesfortheGOL:approachtheUNSecurityCouncil,orusethe“cover”ofMarch14-friendlymunicipalitiestocutthelines.However,hequestionedwhethertheLebaneseArmedForces(LAF)andtheInternalSecurityForces(ISF)havethe“guts”todoso,giventhatHizballahalreadystatedtoLebanesesecurityofficialsthatitwouldviewthisasequaltoanIsraeliactofaggression,andwouldthentakeactionagainsttheGOL.HamadehhopesthatSaadHariri,nowinGeneva,willreturnsoontoLebanonsothatMarch14canmeettoformulateastrategy.Endsummary.GOLHASBEENSHARINGHIZBALLAHFIBEROPTICMAP,REPORTWIDELY-------------2.(S)&IranTelecomistakingoverthecountry!8werethefirstwordsoutofthemouthofMinisterofTelecommunicationsMarwanHamadehwhenhemetwithChargeandEconoffonApril16.Hewasreferringtothediscoveryofacompletefiberopticsystem(FiOS)installedbyHizballahthroughoutLebanon-reftel.Inaddition,HizballahhasintroducedWi-MaxinBeirut’ssouthernsuburbs.HamadehpointedoutthatalthoughLebaneseBroadcastingCorporation(LBC)televisionhadrunastorythepreviousnightabouttheHizballahFiOSnetwork,itwasalreadywidelyknown.TheLBCstorywasnotplantedbytheGOL,norplanned,butinHamadeh’sopinionitwasnobadthingtogetthestoryoutthere.HamadehhimselfhasbeensharingthenewsbothwithintheGOLandoutside,with&friends,8whichincludestheArabcountries,theU.S.,France(Sarkozywas&stunned”)andTerjeRoed-LarsenoftheUN.HebriefedBernardKouchner,Jean-DavidLevitte,BorisBouillonandMichelBarnierwhileinParis.InBeiruthespoketoChargeAndreParentofFranceandAmbassadorAbdulAzizKhojaofSaudiArabia.SaadHariri,when
 
heheard,sentaprivateplanefromSaudiArabiatopickupacopyofthemap,whichtracesindetailtherouteofthesystem,tosharewithSaudiKingAbdullahandIntelligenceChiefPrinceMukrinbinAbdul-Aziz.PMSiniorabriefedtheJordaniansandEmiratis,aswellasArabLeagueSYGAmrMusaonthenetworkduringhisrecenttriparoundtheregion,Hamadehconfirmed.WithinLebanonHamadehsaysthatthefirstpersonhetold,afterthePrimeMinisterandDruzeleaderWalidJumblattwasMaronitePatriarchSfeir.HamadehdescribedthestrategicimplicationsoftheHizballahplan,whichhesaysistargetingtheChristianareas,despiteadenialofthatbyHizballah.InadditiontoHamadehandPMSiniora,DruzeleaderWalidJumblattandDefenseMinisterMichelMurrhavebeenactiveintheGLinformationcampaignonthenetwork.INTERFERENCEINTELECOMSLINKEDTONETWORK-----------------3.(S)WhiletheconfrontationovertheFiOSsystemwastakingplacewithHizballah,mobiletelecommunicationswerebeingsubjecttointerferencebySyriainthenorth,IsraelinthesouthandpossiblybytheUNatsea,accordingtoHamadeh.TheinformationaboutIsraeliinterferencewaspassed&unofficially8byUNIFIL,since,inarecurringcomplaintbyHamadehduringtheconversation,theLAFhasnotreportedanyproblemsofficially.TheSyrianinterferenceissimilartothatoccurringduringtheNahral-Baridfighting,andhighlightstheabilityoftheSyrianstocommunicatewithinLebanonthroughnon-Lebanesemobilesystems.BecausethesysteminthepartofSyriaborderingonnorthernLebanonisaprivatecompany,MTM,HamadehbelievesthattheyofferpoliticalcovertotheSyriangovernment,whoheneverthelessbelievesisbehindtheproblem.HamadehviewstheseeventsaspartofthesamestrategicinterferenceinLebanon,bothinternallyandexternally.HamadehhasamapthatdelineatesBEIRUT00000523002OF004theinterference,inanarcthatrunsfromthenorthtothesouthofLebanon.

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