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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: social networks » Several Arab leaders urged attack on Iran over nuclear issue

version: 1 / created: 2010-12-06
id: #1200 / version id: #1200
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
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Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

Social Networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)

The source of the Weak Signal is

WikiLeaks (as reported by BBC)

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Several Arab leaders urged attack on Iran over nuclear issue

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
As reported by BBC, Several Arab leaders and their representatives are quoted as urging the US to carry out an attack on Iran to bring an end to its suspected nuclear weapons programme. In a cable from April 2008, the Saudi ambassador in Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, recalled King Abdullah's "frequent exhortations" to the US to attack Iran. Mr al-Jubeir said the king wanted the US "to cut the head off the snake"; the cable also reported that the Saudi foreign minister was less extreme, calling for more severe sanctions on Tehran. During a meeting between King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain and US General David Petraeus, the king told the US to stop Iran's nuclear programme "by whatever means necessary". "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it," he is quoted as saying in the cable from ambassador Adam Ereli, dated November 2009. In a 2006 cable, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed, told the US he believed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "going to take us to war". Meanwhile, Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak used a May 2009 visit by a Congressional delegation to Tel Aviv to warn that time was running out to stop Iran's nuclear programme. "Barak estimated a window between six and 18 months from now in which stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons might still be viable," says a cable sent back to Washington by the US ambassador the following month. "After that, he said any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage."


Arab, Iran, USA, nuclear, attack, WikiLeaks, cables


(max. 250 characters)
Several Arab leaders and their representatives are quoted as urging the US to carry out an attack on Iran to bring an end to its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Wikileaks revelations may actually prevent unilateral military actions against Iran new/emerging
mainly beneficial

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Recognition of the Weak Signal leads to major actions of the international community


please specify
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country Iran, USA
Level 2: important for a particular world region Middle-East, Arab world
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Comments on selection:

As reported by The Guardian, the US government's panic over the WikiLeaks revelations is extending to American campuses, with Columbia University warning students they risk future job prospects if they download any of the material. Similar filleting strategies are likely to appear at other political and communicational levels. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/05/columbia-students-wikileaks-cables

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Technological/Scientific Advances in nuclear research
Economic Growing use of nuclear research for socio-economic purposes, e.g. energy generation
Political Decline of US "hegemony"
Values/Ethical/Cultural Lack of trust, from the the US and some Arab countries, in Iran's nuclear programme

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 Loss of US legitimacy to deal with issues associated to Irani nuclear activities Consolidation of new global players as key negotiators with Iran (e.g. Brazil, Turkey, China)

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) More neutral countries like Brazil and Turkey should raise their voices (again) to look for a negotiated solution
Media To give more coverage to global players looking for more pragmatic solutions instead of confrontations

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Crime and terrorism
Governance and trust in democracy
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities
Nuclear research

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology Europe may try to foster broader S&T cooperation and dialogue with Iran and the Arab world

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
More research should be done on the implications of potential developments of this signal