WikiLeaks cables: Qatar okays use of airbase for U.S. attack on Iran
Gulf state agreed partially to fund base's upkeep, as long as U.S. supports Qatar's continued resource mining.
Qatar agreed to allow the United States to use a base on Qatari soil to bomb Iran, according to a report in the newspaper Al-Arabiya based on secret diplomatic cables published by the website WikiLeaks.
Qatar also agreed to pay 60 percent of the upkeep costs for the Al-Udeid airbase, which has already been used by the U.S. military to launch air sorties over Iraq.
Although Qatar backed the elimination of the Iranian offensive capability by military means, Qatar reportedly agreed to support a strike only in return for U.S. guarantees that operations at the South Pars natural gas field, owned jointly by Qatar and Iran, would not be threatened.
Another WikiLeaks document quoted Mossad Chief Meir Dagan characterizing Qatar as "problematic" and its leader as "annoying everyone". According to Dagan, Qatar is trying to cozy up to everyone – Syria, Iran and Hamas – in an attempt to beef up its security.
"I think that you should remove your bases from [Qatar]," Dagan told American diplomats, according to the WikiLeaks document, "[The Qataris] owe their security to the presence of the Americans]."