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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04TELAVIV1390
2004-03-05 14:33:00
SECRET
Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

ISRAELI READOUT OF IRAN NUCLEAR CONSULTATIONS WITH

Tags:   KNNP  PARM  MNUC  PREL  IS  IR  FR  GOI  EXTERNAL 
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						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 001390 

SIPDIS

UNVIE FOR IAEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/04/2014
TAGS: KNNP PARM MNUC PREL IS IR FR GOI EXTERNAL
SUBJECT: ISRAELI READOUT OF IRAN NUCLEAR CONSULTATIONS WITH
FRANCE


Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)
.



1. (S) SUMMARY: In a readout of their consultations with
French officials about Iran and other IAEA issues, Gideon
Frank and Eli Levite of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission
(IAEC) said the French MFA poldir had told them that the EU-3
agreement with Iran could not be twisted to justify removal
of Iran from the IAEA BOG agenda. Frank was not reassured,
however, about the sustainability of Iran on the agenda
because ElBaradei appears deliberately to avoid using the
strong language of BOG resolutions -- e.g., "further serious
failures" -- in his reports. Frank proposed a different
format for the reports that would curtail ElBaradei's ability
to express judgments. Frank and Levite found their French
counterparts "fixated" on Iran's internal political dynamics,
rather than on finding ways to block Iran's nuclear program.
GOF officials said they wanted to move from suspension to
cessation of Iran's enrichment/reprocessing activities, but
feared losing Russian support along the way. While some GOF
officials thought the President's February 11 fuel cycle
initiative could be a good tool against Iran, others worried
about the political viability of another discriminatory
nonproliferation norm. Frank thought a discriminatory
approach was unavoidable, and that opposition could be
overcome with the right incentives to states renouncing a
fuel cycle capability. Frank and Levite noted GOF interest
in reinserting UNMOVIC into Iraq, and perceived a sincere GOF
desire for the U.S. to discover WMD in Iraq. END SUMMARY.




2. (S) Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) DG Gideon Frank
and his deputy, Eli Levite, briefed Ambassador and polmiloff
March 3 on their discussions about Iran and other IAEA issues
with French officials in Paris the previous week. Frank
interspersed the brief with his own views about how to
strengthen ElBaradei's reports to the IAEA Board and on
President Bush's February 11 initiative for controlling the
ability of states to develop new fuel cycle capabilities.



--------------------------


Keeping the BOG on Track


--------------------------





3. (S) Frank said he was worried that the EU-3 would seek to
remove Iran from the IAEA Board of Governors (BOG) agenda by
June if ElBaradei does not report "further serious failures"
by Iran to the BOG. This concern is compounded by the GOI
observation that ElBaradei does not use language from BOG
resolutions, such as "further serious failures," in his
reports to the BOG. He said that "Europeans" have speculated
to the GOI that ElBaradei deliberately eschews resolution
language in order not to prejudge BOG decisionmaking. The

problem with ElBaradei's seemingly "neutral" approach, Frank
lamented, is that it does in fact prejudge BOG
decisionmaking, but in the wrong direction. Many BOG members
will not vote for a resolution condemning Iran for something
like "further serious failures" unless ElBaradei's report to
the BOG uses the exact language.



4. (S) Frank suggested that in order to break out of this
dilemma, the BOG should instruct ElBaradei to prepare his
reports in a genuinely neutral format. IAEC favors one that
would force ElBaradei to organize his findings under some
half-dozen rubrics, e.g., "Incomplete Information," "Failure
to Declare," etc. ElBaradei would then list findings, such
as Iran's undeclared P-2 centrifuge designs, under the
appropriate rubric without comment. Frank said the IAEC had
come up with a short list of rubrics under which all
information from ElBaradei's two most recent reports could
have been organized. Frank said some of the French officials
to whom he pitched the idea liked it, although MFA political
director de Laboulaye said he preferred having ElBaradei take
political positions.



5. (S) In response to GOI concerns that Iran would use its
agreement with the EU-3 to press for removal of its case from
the BOG agenda, de Laboulaye said, according to Levite, that
the clear language of the agreement could not be twisted to
justify such a step. Levite commented that GOF officials
appeared uniformly to appreciate the need to maintain
pressure on Iran. He said he did not doubt their sincerity,
given the apparent lack of significant French commercial
interest in Iran's nuclear industry or general market.



6. (S) Levite expressed frustration, however, with what he
termed the "fixation" of GOF officials on internal power
struggles within Iran, to the detriment of serious thought
about how to maximize leverage against the Iranian nuclear
program. Despite the French role in getting Iran to agree to
suspend enrichment and reprocessing activities, and an
apparently genuine French desire to delegitimize Iran's fuel
cycle, GOF officials had apparently not given much thought to
the precise, practical activities that should be covered by
the suspension. The GOF, for example, had expressed no
objections to Iranian hot cells. Frank urged the GOF to call
for Iran to give up its hot cells, especially as French
companies were interested in meeting Iran's need for medical
radioisotopes.



--------------------------


Getting to Cessation


--------------------------





7. (S) According to Levite, GOF officials said they might
initiate discussions about moving from suspension to
cessation of Iranian enrichment/reprocessing within 30 days.
(Where the GOF would launch the discussions was not clear.)
Use of the word "cessation" is, however, causing some
internal GOF trepidation. The GOF wants to keep Russia in
synch with its approach, and Russian Deputy FM Kislyak, while
supporting cessation as a goal, reportedly has said that he
believes use of the word "cessation" would be premature in
the near term.



--------------------------


Fuel Cycle Initiative Could Help


--------------------------





8. (S) CEA officials, Levite continued, thought President
Bush's February 11 proposal for controlling fuel cycle
activities could prove to be an effective way to lock in
cessation of Iran's fuel cycle activities. MFA nuclear
nonproliferation official Francois Richier and another GOF
official, however, expressed doubts about the political
viability of the President's fuel cycle initiative,
predicting that non-nuclear powers would be reluctant to
agree to another discriminatory norm. To achieve the same
goal of preventing new countries from achieving fuel cycle
capabilities, they suggested using norms that would
technically leave the door open to countries developing the
capability, while setting next-to-impossible requirements,
such as a strong nonproliferation record, tough economic
benchmarks, etc.



9. (S) Offering his own view, Frank said he saw no way to
avoid a discriminatory norm for controlling the proliferation
of fuel cycle capabilities. The political viability of the
President's approach could be strengthened by enhancing the
incentives available to countries that renounce a fuel cycle
capability, e.g., the provision of power reactors and/or
assurances to take back spent fuel. An incentive of
potentially great value would be assistance in upgrading
power grids. Levite expressed concern that possible U.S.
interest in pursuing FMCT could undercut the President's fuel
cycle initiative by legitimizing the construction of new fuel
cycle facilities.



--------------------------


Restoring UNMOVIC


--------------------------





10. (S) On Iraq, Frank said his French counterparts wanted
UNMOVIC to take the lead in verifying the state of Iraq's
nuclear capabilities after the restoration of Iraqi
sovereignty. Frank commented that he would be very unhappy
with a standard safeguards approach in Iraq, given the need
to address the nuclear knowledge base that already exists
there. Levite noted that his GOF contacts very much hoped
for WMD discoveries in Iraq, and were even critical of what
they thought were insufficient U.S. efforts to locate Iraqi
WMD. In response to the Ambassador's skepticism that such
views represent broad GOF thinking, Levite insisted on his
point, noting that the GOF desire to reinsert UNMOVIC would
be complicated by the absence of WMD discoveries by June. In
addition, he noted, the French nonproliferation and
intelligence communities realize that their credibility is on
the line because they, too, assessed before OIF that Iraq had
WMD.



--------------------------


Libya


--------------------------





11. (S) Frank said discussions of Libya were limited to the
implications for dealing with proliferation networks. The
two sides agreed that PSI provides a useful approach. Frank
said the GOI side emphasized that the networks had not yet
reached the international or financial dimensions of drug
trafficking. Dismantling the networks was thus a feasible
goal.

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